Jing­goy seeks to travel, stay in 5-star HK ho­tel

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - NEWS INQ - By Melvin Gas­con @melvin­gas­conINQ

Ex­hausted by his hec­tic ev­ery­day work­load, for­mer Sen. Jing­goy Estrada had asked the Sandi­gan­bayan’s per­mis­sion to travel abroad and spend time with his fam­ily in Hong Kong.

The lawyers of the 55-yearold se­na­tor, who is out on bail while on trial for plun­der and 11 counts of cor­rup­tion, filed the plead­ing on Dec. 6.

“The pur­pose of the travel is for the fam­ily to spend the holi- days to­gether and have more time to re­lax and have rest [from] the pres­sure of his ev­ery­day con­cerns be­fore the cam­paign pe­riod,” his lawyers said in their plead­ing.

Jail time

Estrada was de­tained from June 2014 un­til Septem­ber 2017 when the Sandi­gan­bayan al­lowed him to post bail amount­ing to P1.33 mil­lion cov­er­ing 12 charges.

Estrada was ar­rested while he was in of­fice as a se­na­tor, but his term ended in 2016.

How­ever, Estrada is plan­ning to again run for se­na­tor in next year’s May 13 elec­tions and wants to spend time with his fam­ily be­fore the start of the cam­paign pe­riod on Feb. 12.

“It has been some­time that [Estrada] and his fam­ily, as a whole, have trav­eled to­gether for a much need fam­ily bond­ing,” his lawyers told the court.

If al­lowed by the court, Estrada and his fam­ily are set to fly to Hong Kong via Philip­pine Air­lines and will stay at the five- star Marco Polo Ho­tel in Har­bour City.

Estrada’s mo­tion was filed a day be­fore the ac­quit­tal and re­lease of his col­league, for­mer Sen. Bong Revilla, who was also ar­rested a few days af­ter Estrada in 2014.

Same group

Estrada and Revilla were ar­rested shortly be­fore that of for­mer Se­nate Pres­i­dent Juan Ponce En­rile, who is also out on bail for the same charges of plun­der and cor­rup­tion.

The three were charged with al­legedly pock­et­ing hun­dreds of mil­lions of pe­sos in kick­backs from fake projects, pur­port­edly with the help of busi­ness­woman Janet Lim-Napoles, the scam mas­ter­mind.

Estrada ad­mit­ted that he was heart­ened by Revilla’s ac­quit­tal and was also hop­ing for an ac­quit­tal since they had sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tions.

Cor­rup­tion

“I hope so. I’m hop­ing and pray­ing,” said in a tele­vi­sion in- ter­view af­ter the Sandi­gan­bayan re­leased its ver­dict on Revilla.

It was the se­cond time Estrada was jailed for cor­rup­tion af­ter he was de­tained for six years along with his fa­ther, for­mer pres­i­dent and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, from 2001 to 2007.

While Jing­goy was also ac­quit­ted in that case, his fa­ther was con­victed of re­ceiv­ing bribes from il­le­gal gam­bling op­er­a­tors and prof­it­ing from the sale of gov­ern­ment as­sets.

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