Jinggoy Estrada ‘pork’ trial starts; prosecution presents Senate, budget execs

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THE Sandiganbayan’s Fifth Division started its trial of the graft cases filed against former Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and several other individuals in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel scam.

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Estrada told reporters in an interview that he was “happy at umuusad na rin kahit papaano ‘yung trial after three long years and I hope that ma-fast track na itong aming kaso dahil medyo matagal na e. I’m hoping na ma-expedite lalo itong kaso (happy and the trial is finally somehow moving after three long years and I hope that our case will be fast-tracked because it’s been a long time already. I’m hoping that this case will be expedited further).”

For its initial presentation of evidence, the prosecution presented lawyer Ma. Lourdes Arbas from the Office of the Senate Secretary and Marissa Santos from the Department of Budget and Management.

Estrada was released from detention after the court allowed him to post bail over a related plunder case.

He is one of three former senators namely, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Juan Ponce Enrile, against whom the Office of the Ombudsman filed charges in 2014, along with Janet Lim-Napoles and several other individuals in connection with the PDAF scam. MA. REINA LEANNE C. TOLENTINO

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