'Sexy' Jinggoy: I will be acquitted
MANILA - Sen. Jinggoy Estrada on Monday said he is confident that he will be acquitted in the plunder complaint to be filed by the Department of Justice against him and 2 other senators.
Speaking to reporters, a defiant Estrada said the case is meant to condition the minds of the public to place him and Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Bong Revilla in the worse possible light.
He said the filing of the complaint is no longer a surprise since they have been pilloried in the media over the past several months.
"They are conditioning the minds of the public that we are the worst thieves and that I cannot accept," he said.
"I have been a public servant since 1988 when I ran for vice-mayor and until now, wala po akong record na ganito," he added.
He also rejected reports that he will try to leave the country because of the complaint.
"I am not going to leave the country. Mangyari na ang mangyari, hindi ako aalis ng bansa. Haharapin ko ito," he said.
Estrada, Enrile and Revilla are accused of allocating millions of pesos of their pork barrel funds to fake non-government organizations linked to businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.
Key whistle-blower Benhuy Luy said lawmakers were given 50% of all pork barrel allocations given to Napoles-linked NGOs.
Estrada, however, said he cannot be convicted of plunder for allocating pork barrel funds to NGOs.
"If the sole basis for plunder are the endorsements in the [Commission on Audit] report, I don't think endorsing an NGO is a crime," he said.
He also reiterated his defense that lawmakers are not responsible for determining if a foundation receiving their pork barrel is fake.
"It is not the duty of the senators or any legislator for that matter to determine whether an NGO is bogus or not," he added.
The senator said the responsibility of determining the legitimacy of a non-governmental organization falls on the implementing agency, not the lawmaker.
He said NGOs get accreditation from the implementing agencies. "They are supposed to exercise due diligence," he said.
He said that even if he allocates pork barrel funds to an NGO, it is the implementing agency that should determine if the NGO is fake or not.
He noted that he was presented photos and other documents that show that government projects funded by his pork barrel allocation were implemented.
He also denied that he got gifts such as Mont-blanc pens from Napoles. "Hindi ako gumagamit ng mahal na ballpen. Bic lang. Pilot," he said.
He also made fun of allegations that he is the senator nicknamed "Sexy" by whistle-blowers in the pork barrel scam.
Asked by reporters about his current health, Estrada stood up and said: "Sexy."
He also rejected suggestions that he will soon be using a wheelchair. "Bakit ako magwi-wheelchair e sexy na nga ako?"
Enrile: We will fight
Estrada said he also talked to Enrile who was confined in the hospital over the weekend due to elevated blood pressure.
He said Enrile is suffering from either kidney stones or gall bladder stones, which caused his blood pressure to go up.
"Sen. Enrile is indisposed. I think he is right now in the hospital because his blood pressure shot up. I think he was brought to the hospital a few days ago," he said.
"He just told me: 'We will fight this case in the courts.'"
He also said he will not ask for help from Senate President Franklin Drilon.