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Mugshot: Senator Jinggoy Estrada, Photocredits GMA News

Senator Jinggoy Estrada surrenders

Mugshot: Senator Jinggoy Estrada, Photocredits GMA News
Mugshot: Senator Jinggoy Estrada, Photocredits GMA News

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Following actor-politician Sen. Bong Revilla, Jr., Senator Jinggoy Estrada surrenders to the authorities following the issuance of a warrant of arrest against him in connection with the multi-million-peso pork barrel scam.

“Upon being notified of the issuance of a warrant of arrest against him, in connection with charges of plunder and graft, Senator Estrada surrendered to the Sandiganbayan today,” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said during a press briefing in Malacanang on Monday.

“The issuance of this warrant is a step forward in finding out the truth, which is fundamental in strengthening the trust of our people in our institutions and processes,” he said.

Estrada is charged by the Sandiganbayan with one count of plunder and 11 counts of graft.

“As the Sandiganbayan works to fulfill its mandate, we ask the Filipino people to remain vigilant throughout this process, bearing in mind that the outcome should clearly reflect the profound reality—that just as every Filipino is accorded constitutional rights, these rights are to be protected in a manner that is just and in the service of the truth,” the Palace official said.

Reacting to reports quoting Manila City Mayor Joseph Estrada as saying that the government is picking on the opposition one by one, Lacierda said, “What we have is a plan to bring to court those who have been found to have misused their PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund); and that would involve and affect anyone who has misused his funds, whether friend or foe.”

He cited as an example the case filed against “an ally of the President”, former Customs chief Ruffy Biazon, over the alleged misuse of his PDAF back when he was still a congressman.

“So, it is not true that we are only focusing on people who are against this administration. That is clearly not true,” he said.

On reports that former Chief of Staff of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, Gigi Reyes, will turn herself in, Lacierda said, “Any action by the respondents that will make the process expedited in terms of their voluntary surrender will certainly be welcomed because it expedites the whole process of securing their person.”

Reyes was the alleged bagman of Senator Enrile, who has also been accused in the scam allegedly masterminded by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.