Estrada seeks SC intervention in plunder case

Published April 9, 2018, 12:02 PM

by Patrick Garcia

By Czarina Nicole Ong

Former Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada is asking the Supreme Court to declare that he has been denied due process of law and the equal protection of laws and make the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division render earlier resolutions and orders against him as null and void.

Jinggoy Estrada, (Mark Balmores / Manila Bulletin file photo)
Jinggoy Estrada,
(Mark Balmores / Manila Bulletin file photo)

He filed a second supplement to the petition for certiorari earlier this March before the SC and said the charges against him are “selective and politically motivated.”

In his supplement, Estrada lamented the fact that the Office of the President, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Office of the Ombudsman have “intentionally refrained” from investigating or filing complaints against other personalities involved in the Commission on Audit (COA) Special Audits Office Report just because they are political allies of the former administration.

“This disparity of treatment between the members of the (then) administration and the leaders of the (then) opposition is unmistakable evidence of the treatment of Sen. Estrada with an evil eye and an uneven hand, which constitutes a violation of the guarantee of equal protection of laws,” he said.

Estrada wants the SC to make the Sandiganbayan set aside the joint resolution and joint order dated March 28, 2014, and June 4, 2014, as well as “other papers, issued, promulgated or filed as a result of such challenged issuances.”

During that time, Estrada was included in the list of government officials that were reportedly included in the pork barrel scam. The Sandiganbayan then issued a warrant of arrest against him for his plunder charge on June 4.

“Sen. Estrada further prays for such other reliefs as this Honorable Court may deem just and equitable under the premises,” he further wrote.

Estrada was sent to jail over three years ago after he was charged with plunder in relation to the reportedly illegal use of his P183-million priority development assistance fund (PDAF), which went to the fictitious nongovernment organizations (NGOs) owned by Janet Lim Napoles.

Plunder is a nonbailable offense, but the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division last year voted 3-2 and allowed him to do so. His bail bond for plunder and graft totaled P1,330,000 – P1 million for plunder and P330,000 for his 11 graft charges.