Says he is ready to go to jail again
CALIFORNIA - Talks of plunder and prison is nothing new to Senator Jinggoy Estrada.
In 2001, he was jailed along with his father and then President Joseph Estrada for plunder charges. The younger Estrada was eventually acquitted.
While Estrada walks around on a bad knee, he also knows it may be the last time he walks around a free man.
Estrada is currently visiting family and relatives in Los Angeles and will travel to San Francisco next week for a follow-up on his knee injury before returning to the Philippines.
Estrada faces jail time in the event that the Office of the Ombudsman dismisses his motion for reconsideration and moves to file plunder and graft raps against him at the Office of the Ombudsman.
“I'm prepared for any eventuality. As far as I'm concerned, I have nothing to hide. I've done nothing wrong. I did not steal a single cent from our Congress,” he said in his first on-cam interview after the Ombudsman's indictment.
Estrada remains confident despite the onslaught of charges -- something he learned the first time he was jailed in 2001.
“I've learned to be humble and I became closer to God. Admittedly, before I was jailed in 2001, akala ko hindi matatapos ang maliligayang araw. But of course, lahat may hangganan,” he said.
While detained then, he said he learned how to pray. “In fact, when I was in jail in 2001, I made a vow to go to church aside from the Sunday masses… [I] go to Baclaran to pray and thank the Lord for everything he has done for me up to now.”
While the cases have yet to prosper, petitions are already circulating calling for the accused senators to step down. Aside from Estrada, Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Bong Revilla are also facing plunder and graft raps.
Like Revilla, Estrada has no plans of leaving office.
“I was voted into office by 18 million Filipinos. I’m going to serve up to the last day of my term alang-alang sa lahat nang bumoto sa akin,” he said.
“Just assuring our countrymen, my countrymen, that I will be back,” he said.
Estrada is also determined to not only continue his current term in office, but will also carry on with his plans for the 2016 elections.
Last month, Estrada said he would "most likely" run for vice president if the slot is offered by Vice President Jejomar Binay.