Sandiganbayan stops AMLC witness vs Jinggoy Estrada for third time
MANILA, Philippines – For the third time, the Sandiganbayan stopped a witness from the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) from testifying on bank documents which purportedly shows how Senator Jinggoy Estrada received kickbacks from businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.
The Fifth Division of the antigraft court blocked AMLC bank investigator Orlando Negradas from detailing the bank records of Estrada after the senator’s lawyers appealed an earlier ruling allowing his testimony.
During Estrada’s bail hearing from plunder on Monday, the defense panel told the magistrates that it wanted to file a motion for reconsideration on the court’s ruling.
Prosecutor Christina Batacan said the court could allow the AMLC witness to testify without prejudice to the pending motion for reconsideration.
But the court said it must follow the procedural 15-day period given to the defense to file a motion for reconsideration.
Associate Justice Alex Gesmundo ordered the prosecution and defense to meet instead about the stipulation.
This is the third time that the court ruled against the testimony of the AMLC witness owing to the strategy of the defense panel.
The first time AMLC bank investigator Orlando Negradas was barred, the defense argued that the prosecution had failed to provide them a copy of the AMLC report.
The AMLC was blocked the second time when the defense filed a motion to suppress and exclude the AMLC report which the court later denied.
The 90-page AMLC report shows how Estrada purportedly hid his wealth in his Statements of Assets and Liabilities Networth and how he received kickbacks through conduits from accused pork barrel scam mastermind Napoles.
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