Citing security risk, Sandigan rules out Jinggoy Estrada transfer to regular jail
MANILA, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan fifth division on Thursday denied the motion to transfer Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada to a regular jail in Camp Bagong Diwa as he faces plunder and graft charges over the pork barrel scam.
In a resolution released on Thursday, the division junked for lack of merit the state prosecution’s motion to transfer Estrada to a regular jail from the Philippine National Police Custodial Center, where he is currently detained as he stands trial for plunder.
The court cited the lack of assurance that Estrada’s safety will be ensured in a congested detention facility.
“The Court cannot compromise further the safety and security of accused, the other inmates and detainees of Camp Bagong Diwa, and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology personnel, and aggravate the congested situation there,” the resolution read.
“While the BJMP has been effective in maintaining peace and order and ensuring the safety of the inmates in Camp Bagong Diwa, and efforts are undertaken to construct additional detention facilities (to the point of ejecting the BJMP personnel from their current office to give room to other detainees) and alleviate the congested situation there, still, the BJMP in view of their undermanned situation and having limited resources cannot guarantee the safety and security of high-profiled, high-risk inmates in this case…” the resolution added.
The prosecution had said that the PNP Custodial Center is not a regular jail and that Estrada should be transferred to a BJMP-administered jail in the Taguig camp.
Estrada, along with Senators Ramon Revilla Jr. and Juan Ponce Enrile, faces plunder and graft over their alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam, the alleged diversion of public funds to ghost projects for kickbacks under the scheme of Janet Lim-Napoles.
The anti-graft court first division had also denied the motion to transfer Revilla to a regular jail for lack of merit.
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