MANILA- Former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada has asked the Sandiganbayan 5th Division to set his plunder case for trial after facing delays due to his own refusal to sign the pre-trial order.
Estrada's lawyers filed the motion after receiving a copy of the court's resolution dated Aug. 14, 2017 which resolved the issues pertaining to the pre-trial order, a document which lists the testimonies and pieces of evidence to be used by both the defense and the prosecution earlier contested by the Estrada camp.
"Wherefore, accused Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada, respectfully prays that trial be scheduled as soon as possible," Estrada's lawyers said in the motion.
Earlier, the court had rejected Estrada's request for the exclusion of the conditions and correction of the descriptions in the exhibits of the prosecution.
Estrada's camp had argued against the conditions proposed by the prosecution and consequently refused to sign the pre-trial order as the document may unjustly bind them. The court, however, said it would issue the pre-trial order whether Estrada or any of the parties opposed or approved.
"With the resolution of the accused-movant's motion, there should be no more issue as regards the contents of the Pre-Trial Order, which will be issued by the Court forthwith. Such order will be issued whether or not any of the accused or the prosecution refuses to sign the same," the court said in its decision ordered by Sandiganbayan 5th Division chairperson Associate Justice Rafael Lagos.
Estrada is facing plunder for allegedly pocketing P183 million in kickbacks from alleged ghost projects through bogus non-government organizations of businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.