Will Senator Jinggoy Estrada be acquitted Again?
Senator Jinggoy Estrada was once again welcomed by Camp Crame after he voluntarily surrendered yesterday for his alleged involvement in the PDAF scam. This is his second time to be incarcerated in the camp, which has raised the question of a possible acquittal since he was able to avoid punishment the first time he was jailed.
Back in 2001, when he was still Mayor of San Juan City, Jinggoy was implicated in the plunder charges filed against his father, former president Joseph ‘Erap’ Estrada. However, the Sandiganbayan cleared him of the charges due to insufficient evidence.
Today, despite giving himself up to police, Jinggoy and his family are confident that he would be acquitted again. His eldest child and San Juan Councilor Janella Ejercito commented ‘What happened 13 years ago is happening again. But I feel stronger now.’
Jinggoy’s mother and former senator Loi Ejercito was emotional about the arrest, saying ‘[Jinggoy] merely endorsed the NGOs. No money passed through [his] hands.’
Meanwhile, Jinggoy himself commented ‘This is very painful for me. But this is an order from the court, and I have to face it. I see no case against me.’ He said he will win acquittal if he is given fair trial.
This time though, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima assured that there is a strong case against Jinggoy and that she’s confident the Ombudsman is also convinced: ‘The Ombudsman would not have filed the case in the Sandiganbayan if it was not convinced at the very least of the existence of probable cause.’
Senator Jinggoy Estrada is now detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Centre in Camp Crame, Quezon City. His detention room is beside Senator Bong Revilla’s, who surrendered to the court last week. Jinggoy’s lawyer Alexis Abastillas-Suarez said that his client and Revilla have already seen each other and are doing okay.
Jinggoy is the second of the three high-profile PDAF scam arrests made in the past week. Senator Juan Ponce Enrile has not yet been issued a warrant of arrest after he filed a motion at the Sandiganbayan questioning the basis of probable cause on his case.