Jinggoy Estrada suspended
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada has been suspended for 90 days pending litigation of his plunder case, the Sandiganbayan ordered.
In an eight-page ruling, the anti-graft court dismissed Estrada’s argument that his suspension would paralyze his constituents.
“There will still remain 21 other Senators of the Republic of the Philippines who can meet as such. The Senate President will surely know how to deal with the problem of filling up the temporary vacancies in accordance with the provisions of the Rules of the Senate,” the anti-graft court said.
The court added that the provision on suspension of person accused of plunder was mandatory.
Section 5 of Republic Act 7080 or the Plunder Law provides that “any public officer against whom any criminal prosecution under a valid information under this act shall be suspended from office…”
“Considering that the Information had been found to be sufficient in form and substance and considering that the charge herein squarely falls within the ambit of the invoked provision of RA7080 on suspension and considering further the mandatory tenor of Section 5…the Court must issue the order of suspension as a matter of course,” the anti-graft court further stated.
The prosecutors also requested for the suspension of Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. who are also facing plunder charges.
Estrada, Enrile and Revilla have been linked to the pork barrel scam involving the transfer of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to alleged bogus non-government organizations created by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, who has been tagged as the mastermind.
Estrada and Revilla are detained at the custodial center of the Philippine National Police while Enrile is at the PNP hospital where his health is being monitored. Napoles is at a detention center in Fort Sto. Domingo in Laguna.
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