Jinggoy Estrada’s graft trial set in September
The trial of former senator Jinggoy Estrada for 11 counts of graft over the pork barrel scam has been set on September 4.
During the scheduled pre-trial hearing on Monday, the anti-graft court Fifth Division terminated the pre-trial on Estrada’s graft charges in connection with the pork barrel scam.
During the pre-trial proper, both the prosecution and defense panels meet to mark their exhibits of evidence and prepare the list of witnesses in preparation for the trial proper. Marking of exhibits happens during the preliminary conference.
Division chairperson Associate Justice Rafael Lagos ordered the termination of the pre-trial and set the first date of graft trial on September 4.
He also asked Estrada’s counsel Paul Arias to assist the former senator in signing the pre-trial order. Estrada is undergoing therapy due to shoulder pains.
Earlier, the anti-graft court Fifth Division set Estrada’s first plunder trial date on June 19.
Besides being accused of plunder for receiving P183 million in kickbacks from his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), Estrada is accused of violating Section 3(e) of the anti-graft law for causing injury to government and giving undue preference to accused mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles’ bogus organizations Masaganang Ani Para sa Magsasaka Foundation and Social Development Program for Farmers Foundation.
Estrada allegedly endorsed the bogus foundations to implement his pork barrel projects which turned out to be non-existent.
He was denied bail and remains under police custody with co-accused former Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center. Another accused, the elderly Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, was allowed by the Supreme Court to post bail for humanitarian considerations.
The former senators’ pork barrel scam charges were filed on June 2014. JE/rga
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