Jinggoy Estrada seeks to travel, stay in 5-star HK hotel
Exhausted by his hectic everyday workload, former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada had asked the Sandiganbayan’s permission to travel abroad and spend time with his family in Hong Kong.
The lawyers of the 55-year-old senator, who is out on bail while on trial for plunder and 11 counts of corruption, filed the pleading on Dec. 6.
“The purpose of the travel is for the family to spend the holidays together and have more time to relax and have rest [from] the pressure of his everyday concerns before the campaign period,” his lawyers said in their pleading.
Estrada was detained from June 2014 until September 2017 when the Sandiganbayan allowed him to post bail amounting to P1.33 million covering 12 charges.
Estrada was arrested while he was in office as a senator, but his term ended in 2016.
However, Estrada is planning to again run for senator in next year’s May 13 elections and wants to spend time with his family before the start of the campaign period on Feb. 12.
“It has been sometime that [Estrada] and his family, as a whole, have traveled together for a much need family bonding,” his lawyers told the court.
If allowed by the court, Estrada and his family are set to fly to Hong Kong via Philippine Airlines and will stay at the five-star Marco Polo Hotel in Harbour City.
Estrada’s motion was filed a day before the acquittal and release of his colleague, former Sen. Bong Revilla, who was also arrested a few days after Estrada in 2014.
Estrada and Revilla were arrested shortly before that of former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, who is also out on bail for the same charges of plunder and corruption.
The three were charged with allegedly pocketing hundreds of millions of pesos in kickbacks from fake projects, purportedly with the help of businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, the scam mastermind.
Estrada admitted that he was heartened by Revilla’s acquittal and was also hoping for an acquittal since they had similar situations.
“I hope so. I’m hoping and praying,” said in a television interview after the Sandiganbayan released its verdict on Revilla.
It was the second time Estrada was jailed for corruption after he was detained for six years along with his father, former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, from 2001 to 2007.
While Jinggoy was also acquitted in that case, his father was convicted of receiving bribes from illegal gambling operators and profiting from the sale of government assets.
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