Opposition coalition hits election bid of ex-senators tagged in 'pork barrel scam'

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 17 2018 07:19 PM | Updated as of Oct 17 2018 09:31 PM

MANILA- The opposition coalition in the 2019 midterm elections has expressed hopes that voters would not forget the multibillion-peso fund diversion scam where former senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, and Bong Revilla were tagged. 

This as the three former lawmakers sought to return to the Senate even as they faced trial at the Sandiganbayan for separate cases related to the Priority Development Assistance Fund scam. 

Liberal Party president Senator Francis Pangilinan, campaign manager of the opposition slate, said the candidacies of Enrile, Estrada and Revilla is a reflection of how the former lawmakers view the electoral system.

“That shows the level of disrespect and cynicism in our democracy and electoral system,” Pangilinan said in a statement.

Pangilinan is speaking for opposition candidates Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano, Senator Bam Aquino, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, former Bangsamoro Transition Commission member Samira Gutoc, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, election lawyer Romy Macalintal, former Senator and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, and former Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada.

Enrile, Estrada, and Revilla are facing plunder and graft charges on allegations that they pocketed millions in pork barrel kickbacks through a fund diversion racket allegedly masterminded by businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.

Enrile and Estrada are currently out on bail while Revilla remains in detention at Camp Crame.

Pangilinan said voters should discern well on their choices for senator as they vote on May 13, 2019.

“I hope our voters will see through that, and choose our opposition coalition slate who embody respect and hope for all that is good in the Filipino,” he added.