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Jinggoy: I fulfill two grounds used in granting Enrile bail

/ 05:43 PM August 24, 2015

Senator Jinggoy Estrada said he fulfills the two grounds the Supreme Court had considered in granting Senator Juan Ponce Enrile bail from plunder over the pork barrel scam case.

In an interview after his bail hearing at the Sandiganbayan on Monday, Estrada said he and colleague Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. surrendered to the police and are not a flight risk just like Enrile.

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“The reasons as far as I know, bakit na-grant ng Supreme Court yung bail kay Senator Enrile, first, because of his failing health and he is not a flight risk, and he voluntary surrendered to the court,” Estrada said.

Estrada said he and Revilla should also be granted bail because they also surrendered to the police and are not a flight risk because of their political stature.

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Estrada said he is praying the SC ruling would also result in a favorable decision from the antigraft court hearing his bail plea.

Estrada’s bail plea continues to drag since he surrendered in June 2014 as the prosecution is nearing the conclusion of its presentation of evidence. Revilla, meanwhile, had been denied bail by the Sandiganbayan in December 2014.

Enrile, who had been in hospital detention at Camp Crame for one year, posted bail last week after the Supreme Court voted 8-4 to grant his motion to reverse the Sandiganbayan Third Division’s ruling which denied his bail plea.

The Supreme Court set the bail amount from plunder at P1 million. On top of the P30,000 bail for each of his 15 graft charges, Enrile paid a total amount of P1.45 million

The decision came exactly a week after the SC sided with Enrile’s request for a bill of particulars in his plunder case over his alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam.
In the decision written by Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin, the high court said Enrile’s political stature and frail health rule out the possibility of him being a flight risk as he stands trial for plunder.

“In our view, his social and political standing and his having immediately surrendered … indicated that the risk of his flight or escape from this jurisdiction is highly unlikely,” the decision read.

In his dissenting opinion, Associate Justice Marvic Leonen said the majority decision smacks of “selective accommodation” on a person because of his title and stature.

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“It is based on a ground—humanitarian— never before raised before the Sandiganbayan or in the pleadings filed before this court,” Leonen said.

He said the ruling also sets a dangerous precedent because ordinarily bail is not granted based on humanitarian grounds.

Leonen said the decision “will usher in an era of truly selective justice not based on clear legal provisions, but one that is unpredictable, partial and solely grounded on the presence or absence of human compassion.”

He said while Enrile is ordered released, elder detainees continue to languish in cramped jails. “For them, there are no special privileges. The application of the law to them is often brute, banal and canonical.” AU

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TAGS: bail, flight risk, Plunder, Sandiganbayan, Senator Jinggoy Estrada, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, Senator Ramon Revilla Jr., Supreme Court
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