MANILA - Prosecutors insisted that former Senator Jinggoy Estrada received over P70 million from the Priority Development Assistance Fund scam, as they opposed his motion for leave to file demurrer to evidence.
The prosecution quoted the Anti-Money Laundering Council bank inquiry report which disclosed financial transactions supposedly made by Estrada or through his former senate staff Pauline Labayen and others identified as Carl Dominic Labayen and Juan Ng.
“Such verification and confirmation by the AMLC is nothing less than corroborative to the testimonies on record that indeed Estrada received kickbacks/commissions, thereby amassing, accumulating and acquiring ill-gotten wealth,” prosecutors led by Deputy Special Prosecutor Cornelio Somido said in the opposition.
Estrada’s motion for leave filed before the Sandiganbayan 5th Division will pave the way for the filing of a demurrer to evidence for the outright dismissal of his plunder case.
Estrada’s lawyers said in the motion that the prosecution failed to provide evidence that he was the mastermind of the scam and there was conspiracy among him and the other accused individuals.
The prosecution however contended that Estrada was at the “apex” of the PDAF scam citing the 2016 resolution of the court which initially denied Estrada’s bail and stated that it was his “legislative fiat” which determined how the funds were utilized.
Prosecutors also cited the 2016 resolution which pegged Estrada’s kickbacks at P55 million.
“Indeed, in denying earlier Estrada’s petition for bail, this honorable court per resolution dated January 7, 2016 already made a mathematical computation that Estrada accumulated P55,795,000 from the scheme,” prosecutors said.
After the initial denial of Estrada’s bail application, a special 5-person division of the court eventually granted him bail in 2017.