MANILA - Former senator Jinggoy Estrada on Saturday said he would push through with his trip to the US, notwithstanding the pronouncement of a Filipino-American community leader that he was not invited to a speaking engagement there.
Estrada raised the invitation from the US Pinoys for Good Governance in Michigan when he sought permission from an anti-graft to travel abroad.
The former lawmaker said he was invited by the group's Michigan chapter and that the head of the same organization, Loida Nicolas-Lewis, complained because he was supporting President Rodrigo Duterte.
Nicolas-Lewis is a critic of the President and at one time joined calls for his resignation.
"Had I known that it was Loida Nicolas-Lewis was the chairperson of that particular organization, I wouldn't have accepted that particular invitation," Estrada said.
Estrada said he would still travel to the US to spend time with his family and to have his "recurring shoulder injury" checked.
"This is my promise to my children when they graduated. When I was unable to attend their graduation, sabi ko sa kanila, kung ako'y makakalaya, I will give them a gift," he said.
Estrada was jailed in 2014 along with fellow senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Bong Revilla for allegedly funneling millions of pesos in congressional funds to ghost projects, purportedly with help from businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.
In September 2017, the Sandiganbayan allowed Estrada to post bail of P1 million for plunder and P330,000 for 11 counts of graft.