Sandigan denies Jinggoy furlough to attend ma’s birthday
The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division denied on Monday the request of Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada to leave detention and attend the 85th birthday celebration of his mother former senator Loi Estrada.
In a resolution, the antigraft court said Estrada could not be granted the rights of a free man since he was detained due to plunder over the pork barrel scam.
The court said the denial was consistent with previous rulings disallowing furlough for Estrada, save for when it allowed him to attend the high school graduation of his son—not for his sake but for the child.
“Penchant to the prior rulings of this Court save for allowing him in attending his son’s graduation ceremony, Senator Estrada cannot be granted furlough to attend his mother’s 85th birthday celebration,” the court said.
The court said allowing Estrada would set a bad precedent and would make a mockery of the justice system.
“What the accused seeks is not of an emergency nature. Allowing the accused to hear Mass outside the confines of his prison would accord him the liberties of a free man with all the privileges appurtenant to his position. Such an aberrant situation not only elevates the accused’s status to that of a special class, it also would be a mockery of the purposes of the correction system,” the court added.
In his motion, Estrada had asked for a five-hour leave from the Philippine National Police Custodial Center from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. on June 5 so he could attend his mother’s thanksgiving celebration at the Blue Leaf, Filipinas Asiana City in Parañaque.
“The mother of accused Sen. Jinggoy Estrada informed the undersigned that having reached the age of 85 years old and with her family whole and together she would like to give thanks to her Maker and to those who have been part of her life by having a dinner-celebration on (June 5, 2015) together with family and friends,” Estrada’s motion said.
Estrada is facing plunder and graft charges over the pork barrel scam allegedly masterminded by Janet Lim-Napoles. His mother Loi herself has been identified by witnesses as having dealt with Napoles.
Napoles is serving a life sentence for the serious illegal detention of pork scam principal whistleblower Benhur Luy.
The hearings on the pork barrel scam have resulted in the detention for plunder of Senators Estrada, Ramon Revilla Jr. and Juan Ponce Enrile, as well as former representatives Rizalina Seachon Lanete and Edgar Valdez.
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