Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada vows to face all charges for his alleged involvement in the P10-billion pork barrel scam.
The son of former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada also vows not to run away from the plunder charges lodged against him before the Office of the Ombudsman on Monday.
“I am ready to answer and explain everything because I never had or have any intention to ruin the name of my family,” Estrada said.
The veteran senator is confident he would eventually be cleared despite "truckloads" of documents and evidence presented at the Ombudsman.
On Monday afternoon, Justice secretary Leila de Lima filed plunder raps against him, Senate minority leader Juan Ponce Enrile, Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla, and Janet Lim-Napoles.
Janet Napoles-Lim has been accused of owning dubious various non-government organizations and foundations that regularly received funding from senators and lawmakers’ pork barrel fund in the last decade.
De Lima also lodged plunder, malversation of public funds, and other cases against Masbate Rep. Rizalina Seachon-Lanete, and APEC partylist and Edgar L. Valdez .
The DOJ also asked Ombudsman to charge former congressmen Rodolfo Plaza, Samuel Dangwa, and Constantino Jaraula with malversation, direct bribery, and other graft and corrupt practices complaints.
The criminal complaints for plunder were filed along “truckload” of boxes filled with evidence gathered by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), de Lima said.
Among these affidavits from various whistle-blowers including Napoles’ cousin Benhur Luy, who previously testified in a Senate Blue Ribbon hearing last week.,
“I just pray that there is indeed nothing political in what is happening today because only a handful of us are being mentioned in the present controversy,” Estrada said.
“I hope they would hasten efforts in addressing this problem so that my family would no longer be affected by claims coming out in the newspapers and television against me,” he added.
This is the second time that Estrada was charged with plunder, following the ouster of his father in the second EDSA People Power in 2001.
But the younger Estrada was eventually acquitted for allegedly receiving payoffs from “jueteng,” an illegal numbers game. His father, now Manila Mayor, was convicted but was eventually pardoned.