MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Ombudsman has maintained having strong evidence against former Senator Jinggoy Estrada in connection with the pork barrel scam.
Special Prosecutor Edilberto Sandoval said they will appeal to the anti-graft court to recall the temporary freedom granted to Estrada.
Sandoval added that it is not right to reverse the decision of the previous set of justices of the 5th division who previously denied the petition for bail of the former senator.
“It is not right procedurally that on the basis of the same facts, same evidence, same exhibits, the former division has decided yet the [current division] will now entitle him for bail,” said Sandoval.
Sandoval said no member of the previous set of justices in the 5th division is included in the new set who granted the bail petition of Estrada.
The former senator cited the Supreme Court’s decision on the bail petition of the former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The highest court said the PCSO’s cases have not shown the “main plunderer” in the scam in which the former president was allegedly involved.
The Office of the Ombudsman said Arroyo’s case should not be compared with Estrada’s because the latter involves private individuals while in Arroyo’s case, all involved were government officials.
“In other words, even if the co-conspirator has performable 1 part or several in the continuous concatenation of criminal acts he will be considered the main or principal accused. If the charge is plunder, he will be considered the main plunderer,” said the prosecutor.
The Office of the Ombudsman is still confident that they also have a strong case against Janet Lim-Napoles even if she is not a government official.
If somebody is also charged in conspiracy with you, that somebody is liable and he can be classified already as public officer for purposes of convicting.
Sandoval believes in the integrity of the Sandiganbayan and he hopes that the justices will recall the granting of bail to Estrada.
“I still trust that the Sandiganbayan justices cannot be controlled by politics. I was there for 16 years and it is only hearsay that there are politicians that are intervening,” said Sandoval. — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue
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