Jinggoy’s furlough bid to attend Erap’s birthday opposed
State prosecutors opposed former senator Jinggoy Estrada’s request for furlough to organize and attend the 80th birthday of his father. Manila Mayor and former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada.
After all, technology now allows Estrada to monitor the birthday while in detention for plunder, the prosecution said in its comment opposition to Estrada’s furlough bid before the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division.
“It may not be amiss to mention that Estrada’s physical presence is not necessarily required for the preparation of his father’s birthday… If accused Estrada truly desires to have a hand in organizing his father’s birthday, he may supervise the same within the premises of his detention place, taking into account the advanced technology today,” the prosecutors said.
The Office of the Special Prosecutor said Estrada should have at least substantiated his claim that his father Estrada would be celebrating his 80th birthday on April 19 for the court to tackle his furlough request from April 18 to 19.
“In as much as accused Estrada has not provided sufficient basis to support his assertion in the form of certificate of birth of former President Estrada, his claim that the latter will celebrate his birthday on April 19, 2017 thus remains unsubstantiated and self-serving,” the prosecution said
The prosecution also reminded the court of its earlier resolutions denying Estrada’s request for furlough – to attend a commemorative Mass for his birthday in Feb. 2015, to celebrate Christmas and New Year at home in 2014, to attend the wake of the late German Moreno in 2016, and to attend the 85th birthday of his mother Loi Ejercito Estrada in 2015.
The court even denied Estrada’s request for furlough to attend his own birthday in 2015.
As in their previous comment opposition, the prosecution maintained that the liberty of Estrada, who faces trial, should be limited, and that allowing him furlough for his father’s birthday would give him “favor over and above ordinary detainees.”
“No plausible and cogent reason exists for this Honorable Court to depart from the ratio decidendi of its previous rulings,” the prosecution said.
Mayor Estrada was convicted of plunder over jueteng kickbacks by the Sandiganbayan in 2007, but he was later pardoned by his successor then President Gloria Arroyo.
It is the young Estrada’s turn now to face a plunder trial this time for his alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam, where he is accused of receiving P183 million kickbacks from his Priority Development Assistance Funds through ghost projects in the scheme of alleged mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
Estrada also faces 11 counts of graft for violating Section 3(e) of the anti-graft law for allegedly causing injury to government and giving undue preference to Napoles’ bogus foundations to implement his ghost pork barrel projects.
Estrada was denied bail, and remains in police custody with co-accused Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center. IDL/rga
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