MANILA (UPDATED) - Senator Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada surrendered to his own father, former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, after the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division ordered the senator's arrest on graft and plunder charges.
Lawyer Jose Flaminiano said the senator did not wait for the Sandiganbayan to serve the arrest warrant but opted to surrender instead to his father.
"We need not wait for the warrant of arrest to be served. Senator Jinggoy surrendered voluntarily to the mayor of Manila who is a person of authority," he told ANC.
Flaminiano said they had already confirmed with the anti-graft court about the issuance of the arrest warrant. He said the Estrada camp will file a motion for bail, with the option to file a motion for house arrest.
Estrada is accused of pocketing P183 million in pork barrel scam kickbacks after allegedly channeling his priority development assistance funds to bogus non-government organizations of Janet Lim Napoles.
The senator has denied the charges, saying that politics is behind the filing of plunder and graft charges against him, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile and Sen. Bong Revilla.
He also said he did not know that he was endorsing his PDAF to fake NGOs.
It is the second time that Estrada has been ordered arrested for the crime of plunder. The senator was jailed in 2001 after being charged with plunder under the Arroyo administration.
He was acquitted in 2007.
Estrada was at his home in Corinthian Gardens when he and his family received news of the Sandiganbayan’s issuance of a warrant of arrest.
“Mabigat mawalay sa pamilya. Masakit dahil walang dahilan. Kung ikukulong ako, ikinulong na sana lahat ng mambabatas na nag-endorse,” he told reporters.
All the while, the teary-eyed Estrada was telling his youngest daughter to “stay here na lang.” The daughter would not leave her father, however.
Estrada first proceeded to the Estrada home in Polk Street where he was welcomed by former President Joseph Estrada and former Senator Loi Estrada.
The Estrada family then proceeded to Camp Crame.
The other co-accused of Estrada are:
Pauline Therese Mary Labayen, Estrada’s deputy chief of staff; Undersecretary for Operations Mario Relampagos of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM);
Rosario Salamida Nuñez, Lalaine Narag Paule and Marilou Dialino Bare of DBM.
Allan Javellana, former National Agribusiness Corp. (Nabcor) president; Rhodora Mendoza, Nabcor director for financial management services and administration and finance vice president;
Maria Julie Villaralvo-Johnson, Nabcor chief accountant;
Victor Roman Cacala, Nabcor paralegal;
Maria Ninez Guañizo, Nabcor bookkeeper and accounting division officer in charge;
Romulo Relevo, Nabcor general services unit head; and,
John Raymund de Asis, an employee of Napoles.