FORMER senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada on Monday claimed a field investigator of the Office of the Ombudsman tried to extort money from him in 2013, in exchange for downgrading his plunder case.
Estrada told reporters that “through an emissary, humihingi sila ng pera sa akin, hindi ako pumayag dahil alam ko malinis ang konsensya ko (through an emissary, they were asking money from me, I did not consent to it. Because I know that my conscience is clean).”
“This was supposedly to downgrade my case to graft, instead of plunder,” he said.
Estrada backed President Rodrigo Duterte’s allegations of corruption in the Office of the Ombudsman.
On Monday, the Sandiganbayan’s Fifth Division began trying the plunder case filed against the former senator and several others.
Estrada and former senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Juan Ponce Enrile were charged with plunder and graft at the Sandiganbayan in 2014 along with Janet Lim-Napoles and several other individuals in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel scam.
According to Estrada, the alleged extort try happened “[d]uring their (Ombudsman) investigation, in the latter part of 2013.”
He said he was not willing to initiate any proceeding against the investigator, whose name he said he forgot, because “it’s useless.”
When asked why he did not report the matter to Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, he said that the latter had a “one-track mind.”
“There was no case yet but we were already prejudged as already guilty. How would I report to her?” Estrada said.