MANILA (2ND UPDATE) - The trial against former Senator Jinggoy Estrada for plunder and graft charges in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam will proceed.
Voting 6-4, with 4 justices inhibiting, the Supreme Court upheld on Tuesday the Office of the Ombudsman’s finding of probable cause against Estrada.
SC Public Information Office chief Atty. Theodore Te said the details on how each justice voted has yet to be relayed to his office.
Estrada, son of former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, was indicted by the Ombudsman before the Sandiganbayan for allegedly pocketing P183 million in kickbacks from alleged scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles.
He allegedly allocated portions of his PDAF as a legislator to “bogus” projects through non-government organizations affiliated with Napoles.
The ruling comes despite the Sandiganbayan’s bail grant to Estrada in 2017. Estrada obtained his temporary liberty in September of the same year after posting a P1.33-million bond.
This is not the first time for Estrada to be indicted for plunder.
He faced trial for the same offense, along with his father, from 2001 up to 2007 in connection with over P4 billion in proceeds from illegal numbers game "jueteng," supposed misappropriated tobacco excise taxes, alleged commissions from the sale of real estate firm Belle Corporation, and monies under the account name "Jose Velarde."
The younger Estrada was later acquitted by the Sandiganbayan while the older Estrada was convicted. The former President was eventually pardoned and later elected Manila Mayor.