Cayetano seeks speedy trial for Estrada, Revilla, Enrile

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Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano backs the proposal for the creation of special divisions at the Sandiganbayan that will exclusively hear cases related to the pork barrel scam, saying these cases should be resolved before President Benigno Aquino 3rd steps down in 2016.

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The senator on Sunday said the request for the formation of two special divisions in the anti-graft court that will handle the trial of senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, Janet Lim- Napoles and their co-accused will speed up the trial for plunder and prevent the next administration from intervening in the case.

Cayetano, the Senate Majority leader, said there is nothing unusual in the creation of special divisions since this was done in 2002 for the plunder case of former President Joseph Estrada.

“And since the PDAF [priority development assistance fund or pork barrel]cases are considered special in the sense that it involves billions of pesos of public funds and the accused are powerful government officials, the creation of special divisions is just right,” he told a radio interview aired over dzBB.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales has asked the Supreme Court to create a special division to exclusively hear, try and decide the plunder and other graft-related cases against the three senators, other government officials and private individuals linked to the pork scam.

Cayetano noted that it will be best if pork-related cases are resolved before the term of Aquino ends so that his successor will not have the chance to intervene or influence the process especially if the next President is an ally of the accused.

The senator said that while he believes in the independence of the Sandiganbayan and the Department of Justice, the next leader will wield great power and may influence the case.

With the filing of a plunder complaint against the three senators, their former staff and Napoles last Friday, all eyes will be on the Sandiganbayan this week as the public awaits the court’s decision whether to issue warrants for the arrest of the three senators.

But before the issuance of an arrest warrant, the anti-graft court has to raffle off the case.

The Sandiganbayan currently has five divisions.

Usually, cases are raffled off on Fridays. The division that will handle the case will issue an arrest warrant after determining probable cause.

Revilla filed a motion for judicial determination of probable cause on Saturday.

Malacañang also on Sunday said the pork issue will be tackled by the President when he delivers his fifth State of the Nation Address (Sona) in July.

According to Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., Aquino has discussed with his speechwriters the outline of his Sona.

“Part of the priorities of the government [Aquino administration] is good governance and anti-corruption,” Coloma said in Filipino.

“It [filing of pork barrel scam cases]will certainly be discussed because the President will report the performance of the administration on its important programs and priorities under the Philippine Development Plan,” he added.

With PNA

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5 Comments

  1. Speedy trial for Enrile, Jinggoy and Bong? Ha ha ha! Nice thought, but don’t forget that we are in corrupt Philippines were the wheels of justice roll at snail pace when not stuck in the stop mode. The rumored arrest of the three senators is just for show, just so BS Aquino can claim in his upcoming SONA that he is fighting corruption, though he isn’t.

    Remember the Maguindanao Massacre? It’s been five years and counting and there is no closure of the case yet. Judges, prosecutors, and just about anybody in the Justice Department can be bought, if the price is right. These pork scam cases will just languish in the courts and will remain unsettled till the end of BS Aquino’s term. No big crooks ever go to jail in this country, only small crooks do.

    • ERNESTO ALBAY on

      Agree …..until now no closure to that Mindanao massacre… or just diverting the attention ofthe people from BANGSA MORO AGREEMENT

  2. Just look at how long we have now known about the pork barrel scam & some of the people involved. Everyone understands the importance of this & the need to get it sorted fairly & quickly. Well it seems everyone except the people involved in making the decisions. Why havent the people who can make the decision to have these special courts already started making them. It seems its again that people might be looking after certain people. I hope not as this country has a chance to sort it out & it needs sorting as quickly as possible, but i fear it will be sorted in filipino time & that will be a huge mistake & cost this country dearly.

  3. Cayetano sounds and looks confident that he is not in the Napoles lists and narratives. Possible this anomaly of a Senator is only showing a straight and honest face to divert peoples attention to his more than fare culpability to the scam as well.