The Sandiganbayan threw out Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada’s appeal on the order to seize his assets while the plunder complaint filed against him pends in court.
The anti-graft court’s Fifth Division dismissed Estrada’s motion for reconsideration for lack of merit.
“As movant has not filed a counterbond and as his arguments herein are unmeritorious, there is therefore no compelling reason to lift the attachment while the main case is still pending. On the other hand, borrowing the words of the Supreme Court, ‘allowing the discharge of the attachment at this stage of the proceedings would put in jeopardy the right of the attaching party to realized upon the relief sought and expected to be granted in the main or principal action. It would have the effect of prejudging the case,” the court said.
Estrada was accused of amassing P183 million in kickbacks from the use of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel.
In persuading the court to lift the order of attachment, the senator argued that the issuance of a warrant of arrest is no affirmation that there is a finding prima facie evidence against him. He argued that the act of closing his four bank accounts is no proof that he has removed or disposed his properties because this was done prior to the filing of the plunder complaint.
But the court gave no weight to Estrada’s arguments.
Court sheriffs are currently trying to attach several real properties, motor vehicles as well as shares of stocks and investments included in the prosecution’s list of properties to be seized or garnished.