Jinggoy Estrada’s bid to block AMLC report junked with finality
MANILA, Philippines–The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division has junked with finality Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada’s bid to block the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) report, which detailed how the detained senator allegedly obtained kickbacks through conduits from the pork barrel scam.
In a resolution, the antigraft court denied for lack of merit Estrada’s motion for reconsideration on its earlier ruling junking his bid.
The court said Estrada cannot claim confidentiality over his bank accounts especially due to the gravity of the plunder charge against him.
“As a public officer and being the accused in this case, Estrada no longer enjoys absolute control over his privacy, especially over matters of relevance to the charges against him,” the resolution read.
“Plunder punishes the use of high office for personal enrichment, committed thru a series of acts done not in the public eye, but in stealth and secrecy over a period of time… These proceedings cannot thus be limited by claims of privacy and secrecy in the face of all the circumstances warranting exception therefrom,” it added.
The decision paves way for the testimony of AMLC investigator Orlando Negradas, who had been blocked from testifying against Estrada in his bail hearing on plunder.
The AMLC report, the prosecution’s most explosive evidence yet pinning Estrada to the scam, detailed how Estrada’s alleged conduits Francis Yenko and Juan Ng received millions of alleged kickbacks from accused mastermind Janet Lin-Napoles and her NGOs, and transferred these to the different bank accounts of Estrada.
The report detailed a significant mismatch in Estrada’s wealth contained in his bank accounts and declared in his SALN. All in all, Estrada’s cash in bank from 2005 to 2012 amounted to P299.2 million, compared to what was declared in his SALN at P238.6 million.
The report also said Estrada, his aide Pauline Labayen (at large for plunder), and Ng deposited millions of funds to their bank accounts around the time Benhur Luy recorded in his ledger that they received their alleged kickbacks from the scam.
Finally, AMLC noted that Estrada closed four (of his nine active bank accounts) with an aggregate closure balance of P76.446 million in September 2013, when the PDAF scam investigation was ongoing and public interest in the media was high.
Estrada is accused of pocketing at least P183.793 million from his PDAF through ghost projects implemented by Napoles’ bogus foundations.
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