MANILA - The US Pinoys for Good Governance, a group of Filipino Americans headed by philanthropist Loida Nicolas Lewis, denied inviting former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada to speak at their annual membership meeting in Sterling Heights, Michigan.
In a statement posted on the website of the group, the USPGG denied the contents of the letter dated February 7, 2018 sent by USPGG Michigan president William Dechavez to Estrada asking him to speak at the conference room of Hibachi Buffet on May 20, 2018.
The letter was submitted by the lawyers of Estrada to the Sandiganbayan 5th Division which allowed Estrada to travel to the United States from April 21 to May 31, 2018, not just for the USPGG meeting, but also for family visit and consultation with Stanford Hospital orthopedic surgeon Dr. Christopher Mow.
“USPGG Willie Dechavez did not invite Jinggoy Estrada to speak in Michigan under USPGG nor is any program being planned by USPGG Michigan since Willie Dechavez is on vacation in the Philippines,” the group said in a statement attributed to group chair Loida Nicolas Lewis and president Rodel Rodis.
The group also clarified that a certain Tony Antonio asked Dechavez to invite Estrada, but Dechavez said that he can only invite Estrada in his personal capacity.
“Tony Antonio asked him to invite Jinggoy and Willie said it could only be done in his personal capacity, not as chair of USPGG Michigan, because he needs consultation with his group in Michigan,” the group said.
While Dechavez supposedly said Estrada cannot be invited by the group, the letter submitted by the camp of Estrada had the signature of Dechavez as “President, USP4GG.”
The Sandiganbayan 5th Division has yet to issue a written resolution after ordering in open court last March 26 granting the travel motion of Estrada.
The court said they will issue the resolution only after the submission of the full itinerary of Estrada, after the prosecution raised that the itinerary for his month-long travel is not detailed.
It is not clear yet if the statement of USPGG will have an effect on the earlier decision of the court.