Jinggoy lawyer expects delays in issuance of warrants

Posted at 06/13/2014 11:30 AM | Updated as of 06/13/2014 11:30 AM

MANILA - The lawyer of Senator Jinggoy Estrada expects some delay in the issuance of warrants of arrest for those accused in the pork barrel scam.

Atty. Jose Flaminiano said the Sandiganbayan must first raffle off the 42 graft and 3 plunder informations filed by the Ombudsman to specific Sandiganbayan divisions.

The anti-graft court judges will then review a "truckload of evidence" to determine if there is probable cause to issue warrants of arrest.

Flaminiano said the 10 days given to courts to review the cases may not be enough.

Sandiganbayan Spokesperson Renato Bocar confirmed the 10 days may not be enough for the justices to determine probable cause on the cases filed.

He said the rules of court prescribes 10 days for the determination of probable cause but since the cases are "complicated", it may take more than 10 days.

On the motions for judicial determination of probable cause filed by Senator Bong Revilla and his staff, Atty. Richard Cambe, as well as Budget Undersecretary Mario Relampagos and three other budget department staff, Bocar said these motions are just ways to delay the process.

"Paraan lang para madelay ang pag-issue ng warrant of arrest," he said.

Bocar said if the Supreme Court orders for the creation of one or more special courts to exclusively try the pork barrel scam cases, the informations will have to be transferred from the regular division/s to the special court/s.

In case a Sandiganbayan division orders an arrest, Bocar said the anti-graft court maintains a skeletal force on Saturdays.

He also said it is the duty of law enforcement agencies to serve the warrants and the accused may or may not be presented before the court.