Court seizes Estrada properties, finds only P70k in bank account
MANILA, Philippines–The Sandiganbayan has taken custody of eight real estate properties worth P15 million registered in the names of Sen. Jinggoy Estrada and his wife, Ma. Presentacion Ejercito.
In a five-page report to the antigraft court’s Fifth Division, Albert de la Cruz of the court sheriff’s staff said they had also served a notice of garnishment on Estrada’s Metrobank account, which was found to contain only P70,504.
De la Cruz said they had yet to receive a reply from other banks and financial institutions where Estrada also maintained deposits and investments.
The seized properties included prime residential lots and condominiums in Quezon City and San Juan City and agricultural land in Lipa City.
Among the properties garnished were a 671-square-meter house with a market value of P7.2 million and a residential lot worth P1.37 million in Quezon City.
Estrada, meanwhile, expressed dismay over the snail’s pace of his bail petition hearing in the Sandiganbayan after the justices handling his plunder and graft cases again postponed Monday’s scheduled proceedings.
In an e-mailed statement, Estrada said he was “saddened” and “frustrated” that the antigraft court’s Fifth Division had yet to rule on his plea for provisional liberty 10 months after the hearings began.
The Fifth Division, composed of Associate Justices Rolando Jurado, Alexander Gesmundo and Ma. Theresa Dolores Estoesta, reset the hearing as they had to attend a seminar at the Philippine Judicial Academy in Tagaytay City.
The justices also canceled the May 4 hearing because they will be holding an out-of-town trial in Baguio City.
“I am saddened by the frequent delays in (my) bail application,” Estrada said.
“Given that the court process on a bail petition should be summary in nature, the case is really moving at a snail’s pace. Sometimes it is not moving at all. It’s stationary,” he said.
The prosecution was supposed to present Orlando Negradas Jr., the bank investigator of the Anti-Money Laundering Council who led the review of Estrada’s financial transactions in relation to the P10-billion pork barrel scam.
Estrada, who has been detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame since June last year, noted that the hearings, held every Monday, had been canceled five times since January for various reasons.
“I am really frustrated with what’s happening. Besides the lost hearing days, there are times the prosecutors come unprepared and ask circuitous questions,” he said.
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