Strong ev­i­dence Estrada is ‘main plun­derer’


Cebu Daily News - - ISLANDS - /IN­QUIRER.NET

Two Sandi­gan­bayan jus­tices dis­sented to the anti-graft court Spe­cial Di­vi­sion of Five rul­ing that granted the bail plea of for­mer Se­na­tor Jing­goy Estrada, who was not seen to be the “main plun­derer” in the al­leged pork bar­rel scam.

In their dis­sent­ing opin­ion to the po­nen­cia, Fifth Di­vi­sion chair­per­son As­so­ciate Jus­tice Rafael La­gos and As­so­ciate Jus­tice Zaldy Tre­spe­ses said the ma­jor­ity erred in ap­ply­ing the Supreme Court de­ci­sion that dis­missed the plun­der case of for­mer pres­i­dent Glo­ria Ma­ca­pa­gal-Ar­royo.

In his dis­sent­ing opin­ion, Tre­spe­ses said the new ju­rispru­dence could not be ap­plied in the in­stant bail mo­tion with­out giv­ing an op­por­tu­nity to the pros­e­cu­tion to present new ev­i­dence in another bail hear­ing.

“The fil­ing of a new pe­ti­tion for bail, per se, is not ob­jec­tion­able. How­ever, if the Court is dis­posed to al­low the ac­cused to seek bail afresh based on the al­legedly new re­quire­ment for prov­ing plun­der fol­low­ing the Ar­royo rul­ing, it should like­wise al­low the pros­e­cu­tion new bail (hear­ing or hear­ings) to show that it has the ev­i­dence to sat­isfy the al­leged new re­quire­ment for prov­ing plun­der,” Tre­spe­ses said.

Tre­spe­ses also dis­agreed with the court’s find­ing of no strong ev­i­dence against Estrada, when the pre­vi­ous com­po­si­tion of the Fifth Di­vi­sion de­nied Estrada’s first bail mo­tion in an ex­haus­tive res­o­lu­tion that traced Estrada’s in­volve­ment in the elab­o­rate Pri­or­ity De­vel­op­ment As­sis­tance Fund (PDAF) scam scheme.

Tre­spe­ses par­tic­u­larly men­tioned the An­ti­Money Laun­der­ing Coun­cil’s (AMLC) bank in­quiry re­port, which ac­cused Estrada of re­ceiv­ing mil­lions of his com­mis­sions in his bank ac­counts through con­duits with ac­cused master­mind Janet LimNapoles.

“The said res­o­lu­tion more­over re­pro­duced some of the more salient ex­hibits. It re­pro­duced the signed let­ters of Estrada ad­dressed to the var­i­ous heads of im­ple­ment­ing agen­cies for PD AF, specif­i­cally en­dors­ing Napoles NGOs and au­tho­riz­ing (Estrada’s deputy chief of staff Pauline) Labayen to sign and act on his be­half,” Tre­spe­ses said.

“It fur­ther re­pro­duced checks con­nect­ing Estrada to the ac­count of Juan Ng,” he added.

In its re­port that was pre­sented in court, the AMLC said one con­duit Juan Ng bore the same hand­writ­ing in some sig­na­tures as that of Estrada him­self, rous­ing sus­pi­cions that Ng and Estrada are the same.

The re­port bared what the pros­e­cu­tion deemed the most damn­ing ev­i­dence against Estrada.

Ng de­posited P10 mil­lion check from So­cial De­vel­op­ment Pro­gram for Farm­ers Foun­da­tion, Inc. (SDPFFI), a Napoles NGO on April 15, 2010, in his Chin­a­bank ac­count. On the same day, Ng’s Chin­a­bank ac­count in­curred a debit of P10 mil­lion for a check payable to cash.

In what could be the most glar­ing link between Estrada and Napoles, this same check was is­sued for the PBCom ac­count un­der Estrada’s name.

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