Jinggoy Estrada furlough ‘completes occasion’ for son’s big day | Inquirer News

Jinggoy Estrada furlough ‘completes occasion’ for son’s big day

By: - Reporter / @jovicyeeINQ
/ 05:25 AM March 18, 2015

MANILA, Philippines–A high five for a job well done.

That’s what Sen. Jinggoy Estrada gestured to his son, Julian, who graduated from high school at the OB Montessori in San Juan on Tuesday.

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Estrada, who is detained on plunder charges at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame, was given a three-hour furlough by the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division so he could attend his son’s graduation.

“I’m really happy because it has been a long time since he has been detained. Finally, he got the chance to see Greenhills again,” Julian told reporters.

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The 19-year-old said the attendance of his father at his graduation “completed the occasion.”

While the detained senator didn’t give a special message, Julian said that toward the end of the almost three-hour-long ceremony his father gave him a high five and said, “Good job, son.”

The younger Estrada said he was “excited” when he found out last Monday via social media that his father was allowed by the antigraft court to attend his graduation.

His sister, Janella, admitted that her family was “expecting the worst.”

“If he had not been allowed [to attend], Julian would have been the first [among us] to graduate without a dad,” Janella said.

Tuesday’s leave was the first nonmedical furlough to be granted Estrada by the antigraft court.

Last December, he asked to be granted a Christmas and New Year furlough. Last month, he also asked that he be allowed to attend his birthday Mass at the Pinaglabanan Church. All these requests were turned down by the court, citing reasons like not wanting to set a bad precedent or the occasions were not emergencies.

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In a statement released by his media office on Tuesday, Estrada said his family was grateful for the opportunity given to him by the court.

“I’m very thankful to the magistrates of the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division for allowing me to attend my youngest son’s high school graduation. Any loving parent would not want to miss the once-in-a-lifetime moment when his child goes up on stage and receives his high school diploma. My entire family, especially my son Julian, wishes to convey their heartfelt gratitude to the court for the kind consideration they have shown in granting my motion seeking permission to attend my son’s graduation,” Estrada said.

Julian said he intends to take up business management in college. His mother, Precy, requested the media not to disclose the name of the university where he is going.

Precy, who said her husband’s furlough was “a big surprise,” reminded her son “to keep studying” even if he wants to eventually enter show business.

Asked if elective office was on Julian’s mind, Precy said “No, politics is not for us.”

Estrada is facing plunder and graft charges for allegedly pocketing millions in kickbacks from his Priority Development Assistance Fund, in connivance with coaccused Janet Lim-Napoles who operated a number of bogus nongovernment organizations, which served as conduits of the funds.

The OB Montessori administration barred the media from entering the school, saying the ceremony was a “solemn private affair for the parents as well as the students.”

When Estrada left the school at 4:55 p.m., his youngest daughter Julienne hugged him tightly and requested for another kiss from her father.

The three Sandiganbayan justices who granted the senator a three-hour furlough said Estrada’s absence at his son’s graduation could affect the latter badly.

“If he’s not around, that will be traumatic for the child…

We’re doing this not for Senator Estrada. We’re doing this for the child,” said Associate Justice Roland Jurado.

Julian Emilio is the third of Estrada’s four children. The others are Janella, Joseph and Julienne.

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TAGS: court, Furlough, Graduation, Jinggoy Estrada, Julian Estrada
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