Petisyon ni Sen. Jinggoy Estrada na makapagpiyansa, hindi pa rin nadededisyunan ng Sandiganbayan

admin   •   August 5, 2014   •   2894

Senator Jinggoy Estrada (UNTV News)

MANILA, Philippines – Muling humarap sa Sandiganbayan 5th Division si Senator Jinggoy Estrada sa pagdinig ng kanyang petisyong makapagpiyansa sa kasong plunder kaugnay ng pork barrel fund scam.

Muli namang isinalang sa direct examination ang testigo ng prosekusyon na isa sa mga graft-investigating and prosecuting officer ng Office of the Ombudsman na si Atty. Vic Escalante Jr.

Ipinadetalye ng prosekusyon kay Escalante ang mga naging transakyon ni Estrada sa mga umano’y bogus non-government organization ni Janet Lim Napoles.

Muli din nitong kinilala ang ilan sa libu-libong dokumentong ginamit sa imbestigasyon at tinukoy kung alin sa mga ito ang magpapatunay na ginamit ng senador ang kanyang Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) sa mga bogus NGO.

Sa mga naturang dokumento, malalaman kung maaaring makapagpiyansa ang senador.

Subalit sa kalagitnaan ng direct examination, nag-react si Atty. Sabino Acut, isa sa mga abugado ni Estrada, at sinabing ang ginagawang proseso ng prosekusyon ay nagpapatagal lamang sa pagdinig.

Bagama’t aminadong natatagalan nga ang pagdinig sa kanyang petisyon na makapagpiyansa, naniniwala naman si Estrada na advantage para sa kanya ang mga testimonya ng testigo.

Aniya, ang mga ebidensyang iprinisenta ng prosekusyon ay pawang mga hearsay lamang at lahat ay mula sa salaysay ni whistleblower Benhur Luy, maging ang pag-amin nito sa mga forged signature at pinalsipikang mga dokumento.

“I am confident that I will be granted bail, kasi masyado nang dinidelay ng prosecution,” saad ni Estrada.

Muli namang iginiit ng isa pang abugado ni Estrada na si Atty. Alexis Abastillas Suarez na irrelevant at immaterial ang mga ebidensya ng prosekusyon.

“It has been our continuing objection that the testimony of the witness is irrelevant and immaterial, kasi he based his testi merely in the statements of other people… mere hearsay.”

Dagdag pa ni Suarez, “Dapat they went directly to the point kung sino ba talaga ang may knowledge sa kickbacks and project identification of Estrada.

Maging ang abugado ni Napoles na si Atty. Stephen David ay nagkomentaryong walang direktang alam ang testigo sa partisipasyon ng mga akusado sa nasabing scam.

“Yung testi ng witness puro hearsay, chismis lang. Kaya nung tinanong natin sya, personal knowledge, ano alam mo, wala daw participation si Estrada, Napoles at De Asis. In fact, inamin pa nga niya,” ani David.

Kung kaya’t hamon ng kampo ni Estrada, iprisenta na ng prosekusyon sina Luy at Ruby Tuason upang mas mapabilis ang pagdinig.

“I-present na ang malalakas na testigo na sina Luy at Tuason for the court to determine if I will be given bail or not,” giit ni Estrada. (Bianca Dava / Ruth Navales, UNTV News)

Coalition calls for strong enforcement of 2016 arbitral ruling anew

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Several groups have called anew for the strong enforcement of the 2016 arbitral ruling.

The group Citizens Alliance for Life and the Law of the Sea (CALL of the Sea) called on the Duterte Administration to strongly implement the arbitral ruling regarding the West Philippine Sea. The 2016 arbitral ruling affirmed the Philippines’ territorial claims in the South China Sea against China’s claims.

“What we must now need, moving forward is for us Filipinos and national leaders to speak as one with a clear unmistakable, consistent and emphatic voice on the enforcement of the arbitral award,” according to Atty. Joey Lina, convener of CALL of the Sea.

According to 1Sambayan led by its convener, retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, only Filipinos have the right to the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

“The constitution expressly declares the stay, the use of reserves and enjoyment of the nations marine wealth in its exclusive economic zone solely to Filipino citizens, clearly the president has no power to allow Chinese fishermen to fish in our exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea,

Former Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Dr. Albert Del Rosario also said that President Rodrigo Duterte betrayed the constitution due to his previous statements regarding the West Philippine Sea.

“Last May 10, 2021, the President claimed his pledge to will ride a jet ski to the Spratlys, plant the Philippine flag there was a pure campaign joke. calling those who believed him as being stupid. This episode contributes to a widening belief among our countrymen that President Duterte betrayed the constitution he swore to uphold, and consequently betrayed his countrymen who rely on him to protect the West Philippine sea,” he said.

Meanwhile, Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the government is not giving up any natural resources in the country’s EEZ.

“We should also propagate an objective understanding of issues surrounding the West Philippine Sea to avoid being clouded by pure emotions which are being exploited by those who seek to divide rather than to unite us in our common goal. On the economic implications of the issue, we need to consistently acknowledge that the natural resources within our EEZ are for our exclusive exploitation,” he said. AAC (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

Ombudsman will not appeal Revilla’s acquittal in 16 PDAF graft charges

Marje Pelayo   •   July 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Office of the Ombudsman has rested its case against Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. in the controversial ‘Pork Barrel’ scam.

This after the Sandiganbayan (SB) acquitted Revilla “for insufficiency of evidence on the remaining 16 graft cases” in relation to the alleged irregularities in the Senator’s Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

“The SB First Division voted 3-2 to grant Senator Revilla’s Demurrer to Evidence, AND WE RESPECT ITS DECISION,” the Ombudsman said in a statement.

Furthermore, the statement stressed that Ombudsman Samuel Martires will no longer challenge the “dismissal of cases/quashal of information and judgments of acquittal, either through a motion to dismiss, a demurrer to evidence or by a decision, rendered by the trial courts or the Sandiganbayan except when the People was clearly deprived of due process or there was mistrial,” citing Revilla’s constitutional right against double jeopardy.

“A demurrer to evidence is a motion to dismiss on the ground of insufficiency of evidence. The grant of the court of the demurrer is tantamount to an acquittal because the defendant is cleared of the criminal case and is no longer required to present his evidence,” the Ombudsman statement explained.

Revilla was accused in 2014 of diverting his PDAF for the years 2006 to 2009 to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) linked to ex-Cagayan de Oro congressman and Pork Barrel scam mastermind Janet Napoles.

The senator was alleged to have received P224.5 million kickback in the process.

Napoles was convicted of plunder in relation to the scam in 2018.

Only one Estrada should run for office, Jinggoy says

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines —Former senator Jinggoy Estrada has signified his intent in running for a Senate seat in the 2022 national elections.

In an interview on Wednesday (July 7), Estrada said he still has unfinished business in the Senate and was encouraged by the continuous support of the public after several surveys still include him in the winning circle.

However, the former senator said only one Estrada should run for office, pertaining to his brother former senator JV Ejercito.

“Mabuti na ‘yung iisa lang ang Estrada ang tumakbo kasi minsan nalilito ang ating mga botante kung sino sa aming dalawa. Siguro, it’s high time that we get to talk to each other,” Jinggoy said.

Ejercito, on the other hand, said in a tweet that it is the right of anyone to run for public office and the people will decide which candidate they will vote for.

“Everyone has the right to run for public office. But it is the prerogative of the people to choose a candidate with integrity, honesty & track record,” Ejercito said. -AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

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