SENATOR Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, one of three senators charged with plunder for their alleged involvement in the P10-billion pork barrel scam, on Sunday pledged to deliver a second privilege speech that will be more explosive than his first.
Estrada is flying to the United States anytime this week to accompany his wife who will seek a second opinion about the lump found in her breast. The senator said that he isn ot evading prosecution in connection with his supposed involvement in the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) irregularity.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) asked the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) last week to cancel the passports of Senators Estrada, Juan Ponce Enrile and Ramon Revilla Jr., and 35 other individuals including congressmen and government officials facing plunder and malversation complaint before the Ombudsman.
The DFA has directed the people concerned to submit their respective written comments within five days in order for the foreign affairs secretary to weigh the matter.
Estrada maintained that the request to cancel his passport has no legal basis. He said that he is neither a fugitive, a convicted individual nor did he acquire his passport legally.
“I don’t know why the DOJ looks at us as threat to national security but I’m leaving it to the DFA to decide,” the senator said, adding that his legal team will decide what steps to take next.
Estrada said that his travel plans were made even before the DOJ made the request for passport cancellation.
When he comes back, he said that he will deliver another privilege speech that is more “bombastic” than the one he made in September, where he bared that some senators received additional pork barrel allocations for voting to convict former chief justice Renato Corona.
Because of his speech, the controversial budget allotments made through the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) came to light.
Estrada unintentionally exposed the allocations when he disclosed that some senators were given P50 million extra pork for convicting Corona.
Only Senators Miriam Santiago, Ferdinand Marcos and Joker Arroyo voted to acquit Corona.
Estrada also disclosed in his speech that Mandaluyong Rep. Neptali Gonzales Jr,. spent P6 million of his pork on Jollibee products.