MANILA, Philippines - Despite his looming arrest for plunder in connection with the pork barrel scam, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada remains confident of acquittal, his father, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, told The STAR yesterday.
“He’s OK. He is in high spirits. He has experienced that already. We were both incarcerated in 2001, but he was acquitted ahead of me,” the elder Estrada said, referring to his and his son’s arrest also for plunder for their involvement in jueteng.
Estrada said he is confident his son can defend himself in court.
The Sandiganbayan has issued a hold departure order (HDO) against Jinggoy and his two Senate colleagues, Juan Ponce Enrile and Ramon Revilla Jr.
The Manila mayor said that despite his conviction for plunder in September 2007 by the Sandiganbayan Special Division, he felt vindicated when his wife Loi Ejercito and Jinggoy won in the senatorial races in 2001 and 2004, respectively.
“Although they convicted me for plunder, I was vindicated by President Cory Aquino, the Catholic Church. In fact, during my incarceration, I was vindicated by the people when they voted for my wife, Dr. Loi and Jinggoy, when they ran for senator,” Estrada said.
He said he did not steal a single centavo from the government.
“They were not able to prove that I stole a single centavo from the government. My case involved only jueteng money which I did not even touch because the P200-million jueteng money goes to the Muslim Youth Foundation which helped our poor Muslim brothers and sisters. The money remained intact. I did not touch a single centavo,” Estrada said.