Sandiganbayan issues arrest warrant vs Jinggoy Estrada
MANILA, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan fifth division on Monday signed the arrest warrant against Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada for his plunder and graft charges in connection with the “pork barrel” scam.
This after the anti-graft court found probable cause to hold Estrada on trial for his alleged involvement in the scam.
Estrada’s co-accused in his plunder case who were also ordered arrested were Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged mastermind in the scam; John Raymund De Asis, Napoles’ employee; and Pauline Labayen, who is Estrada’s former deputy chief of staff.
Estrada’s co-accused in the graft case also included in the arrest warrant were Labayen; Napoles; De Asis; Budget Undersecretary Mario Relampagos; Allan Javellana, former president of National Agribusiness Corp. (Nabcor); Antonio Ortiz, former director general of the Technology Resource Center (TRC); Gondelina Amata, president of the National Livelihood Development Corp. (NLDC); Nabcor employees Rodhora Mendoza, Victor Cacal, Romulo Relevo, Maria Ninez Guanizo, Maria Julie Villarolvo-Johnson; NLDC employees Emmanuel Sevidal, Sofia Cruz, Chita Jalandoni, Evelyn Sucgang, Gregoria Buenaventura; TRC employees Marivic Jover and Francisco Figura; Rosario Nunez; Lalaine Paule; Marilou Bare; Ma. Rosalinda Lacsamana; and Consuelo Lilian Espiritu.
The arrest warrants were signed by fifth division chairperson Associate Justice Roland Jurado.
The Ombudsman, in indicting the senator, said Estrada amassed P183.795 million in commissions from 2004 to 2012 from the alleged illegal disbursement of his Priority Development Assistance Funds.
Estrada faces one count of plunder, a non-bailable offense, and 11 counts of graft.
Also charged were Senators Ramon Revilla Jr. and Juan Ponce Enrile, and alleged scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
Revilla surrendered Friday to the anti-graft court after it found probable cause on the charges filed against him. He is now detained in Camp Crame.
This is not the first time that Estrada would be detained for plunder. He was detained with his father, former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, in 2001 but the senator was later acquitted and released.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.