Sandigan resets Napoles, Jinggoy plunder hearing to October 7
MANILA, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan has suspended the hearing of the plunder case against convicted pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles and former senator Jinggoy Estrada until October 7.
In Monday’s proceedings at the Fifth Division, the court explained that they are not yet “ready to release” their decision on the pending motion for reconsideration, which was about their junked demurrer to evidence.
Last June 14, the anti-graft court denied the separate demurrers to evidence filed by Estrada and Napoles, as the prosecution was able to establish that Napoles and Estrada allegedly connived to funnel public funds into ghost projects for their own benefit.
Estrada supposedly received P55.79 million from Napoles in exchange for the former senator’s move to allocate his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to Napoles’ bogus non-government organizations.
The motions of Napoles’ camp has been banking on the non-specification of the “main plunderer” as a basis to dismiss the case, citing a dismissed plunder case involving former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
However, Sandiganbayan has noted that the two cases are different, as the in Arroyo’s situation, all accused were public officials, which highlights the need to specify a main accused. On the other hand, Napoles’ case involves her, a private citizen, which means that the public official, Estrada, is the main accused.
The court also reminded Napoles’ lawyer Rony Garay to read the resolution previously released by the Fifth Division, after he insisted that there is still a pending motion to dismiss the case based on the same arguments, that the main plunderer was not specified.
The motion was noted and accepted but the court noted that there is no need to specify who the main plunderer was in the assailed Information. /je
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