Jinggoy: 'Cracks showing' in pork scam cases

Posted at 06/30/14 12:16 PM

MANILA - Senator Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada on Monday derided the alleged blunder committed by the Ombudsman, saying the move to amend the plunder and graft charges filed against him proves the cases were rushed and railroaded.

"The cracks are already showing. The recent developments are indicative of the fact that the cases against us were rushed and railroaded and due process of law was not observed especially during the preliminary investigation by the Ombudsman," he said in a statement he read before reporters.

Estrada accused the Ombudsman of "overzealousness to be glorified as heroes", which led to the filing of a "haphazard" case before the Sandiganbayan.

He accused the Ombudsman of showing off by filing a "politically-motivated" case just to prove that it can jail him, Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Sen. Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr.

"If there are truckloads of evidence against us and the case is airtight as they initially say, why is there a need to amend the information? Kung talagang malakas ang kaso at maraming ebidensya, dapat kahit nakapikit pa ang dalawang mata nila ay kaya nilang isulat ng malinaw at walang pagkakamali ang mga paratang sa akin," he said.

He said he is hopeful that the Ombudsman's blunders would lead to the granting of bail and even an acquittal.

"I have been acquitted before of plunder and I hope to be acquitted again," he said.

Estrada faces one count of plunder and 11 counts of graft for allegedly receiving P183 million in pork barrel kickbacks from 2004 to 2012. He is currently detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame.

Last Friday, the Office of the Ombudsman withdrew its motion to amend the plunder complaint against Estrada after the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division warned it could lead to the release of the accused from detention.

Justice Roland Jurado told the prosecution that if they are amending the information, the court may have to release the accused, prompting the prosecution to withdraw the motion.

Justice Alexander Gesmundo pointed out that the prosecution removed the word "conspiracy" and replaced it with the word "collaboration", which basically spelled the difference between the old information and the amended information.