Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada’s petition for bail has been submitted for resolution and the Sandiganbayan’s Fifth Division has 48 hours or until Thursday to decide whether to grant or junk it.
But the anti-graft court can ask the Supreme Court for more time to make a ruling.
Estrada is detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame over a P183-million plunder case in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel scam.
The court’s Fifth Division heard oral arguments on the bail petition on December 3 with the prosecution asserting that they were able to establish the elements of plunder. However, the defense insisted that Estrada is entitled to bail.
“The possibility of him escaping, bearing in mind his official and social standing and his other personal circumstances, is remote, if not nil,” the defense said. “Not only is he an incumbent Senator, but he is the son of a former president as well. He will face the charges with all the dignity and honor and courage befitting of his circumstance,” it added.
The defense said that pork scam witnesses Benhur Luy, Marina Sula, and Merlina Suñas did not have personal knowledge on the alleged delivery of kickbacks to Estrada.