SENATOR Teofisto Guingona 3rd on Thursday admitted receiving P50 million as additional pork barrel allocation after the Senate impeachment court convicted chief justice Renato Corona.
Guingona is the second senator to make the admission. On Wednesday, Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, who exposed the “pork bonus,” said he too received P50 million.
The two, however, insisted the additional Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) had nothing to do with their vote to convict Corona.
Guingona and Estrada were among the 20 senators who voted to unseat Corona.
Guingona said he was not aware of the supposed confidential letter flashed by Estrada during his privilege speech Wednesday.
“I don’t know anything about that letter and if the issue is was there any offer for our votes? Then there is none,” he said.
Guingona said the P50 million was released in December 2012, long after the impeachment trial ended in May.
In a phone patch interview, Estrada said he used the money for “infrastructure projects.”
But election lawyer Romulo Macalintal believes that the 20 senators who received the P50 million bonus PDAF could be liable for plunder.
“If the said amount was pocketed or used for personal purposes by these senators, receiving the P50M constitutes ill-gotten wealth as they received the same by reason of their positions and the amount is well within the threshold amount for plunder,” Macalintal said.
He added that receiving gifts by reason of their positions is tantamount to indirect bribery under Article 211 of the Revised Penal Code
Aside from Estrada, those who voted to impeach Corona were then Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, former senator Edgardo Angara, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, Senator Pia Cayetano, now Senate President Franklin Drilon, Senators Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Teofisto Guingona 3rd, Gregorio Honasan, then senator Panfilo Lacson, Senator Manuel Lapid, Senator Loren Legarda, Senator Sergio Osmeña 3rd, former senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel 3rd, Senator Ralph Recto, Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., then Senate majority leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto 3rd, Senator Antonio Trillanes 4th, and then senator Manuel Villar
Macalintal said that if there was really a “confidential memorandum” from Drilon that insured the release of the P50 million, then Drilon might be liable for Corruption of Public Officials under Article 212 of the Revised Penal Code.
With a report from Francis Earl A. Cueto