THE Sandiganbayan has denied the appeal of the Ombudsman against the bail of former senator Jinggoy Estrada due to lack of evidence that he is the main plunderer in the P10 billion pork barrel scam.
The decision of the court’s Special Fifth Division is contained in a resolution promulgated on Nov. 10 and released to the media on Thursday. In the resolution, Justices Maria Theresa Mendoza-Arcega, Reynaldo Cruz, and Lorifel Pahimna affirmed the Supreme Court ruling that granted the bail. The SC ruled that a main plunderer should be identified.
The evidence of the Ombudsman against Estrada only “implied conspiracy” and did not “expressly state” the conspiracy between Estrada, alleged pork scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles, and others accused, Rappler quoted the justices as saying.
Estrada and co-accused former senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. has been detained for three years in connection with the plunder case. He was granted temporary freedom after paying P1.33 million in bail on September 16. rw: wjg