MANILA - Senator Jinggoy Estrada is already feeling the “mental torture” over his imminent arrest, but was able to crack a joke over what he will do to wile away time in jail.
The Sandiganbayan’s fifth division has yet to determine probable cause in the graft and plunder cases filed against him by the Sandiganbayan, but Estrada already expects a warrant of arrest to be issued.
As to when, he does not know.
“Torture. Mental torture. Hindi natin alam kung kailan, bukas, next week or two weeks from now lalabas ang warrant. Hindi natin alam,” he told reporters on Thursday.
He said he already has plans on what he will do in jail.
“I assure the public, my constituents that I will still serve to the best interests of my constituents. Kahit nakakulong ako, magta-trabaho pa rin ako. Sa mga kumukutya, sa mga bumabatikos sa akin, hindi po kayong magiging dahilan sa pagsuko sa laban na ito. Lalaban ako hanggang sa aking huling hininga dahil wala po akong kasalanan,” he said.
He even joked he may have to learn to make loom bands, popular these days among children and even some adults.
“Gusto na akong turuan ng asawa ko na gumawa, kaya lang hindi ko kaya dahil parang gawaing pambabae iyon. Pero kung talagang wala na akong magawa sa kulungan, siguro magpapadala na ako para gumawa ako ng loombands. Pero wala naman akong mapagbebentahan na mga inmates doon dahil ang mga inmates ko dalawa lang,” he said.
His colleague, Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla, may be served his own warrant as early as Friday morning.
Nonetheless, Estrada said he is ready to be handcuffed, if needed.
“They can handcuff me if they want to,” he said, noting he made no such request to the police.
It was Director Benjamin Magalong, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), who called him up a month ago to discuss a gentleman’s agreement. It was Magalong who supposedly said he will not be handcuffed.
“I committed to him… I assured him that I will surrender peacefully. There is no need for the policemen to arrest me in my residence, simply because I do not want my children to see me arrested. Baka magkaroon ng trauma ang mga bata. I will just go to PNP or kung saan ako papupuntahin ng Sandiganbayan,” he said.
He said his house is only five minutes away from Camp Crame.
Estrada said all he can do now is to prepare for his legal defense.
He will be represented by the law firm of seasoned lawyer Jose Flaminiano, who also represented him during his first plunder case that also named his father as co-respondent.