MANILA – Senator Jinggoy Estrada is still hoping that the Supreme Court and Sandiganbayan will exercise justice, after he and others received what he deemed as “selective accusations” from those who want him in jail.
In a speech before the Senate adjourned on Wednesday, Estrada was adamant about his innocence, stressing that he did not take a single centavo from public coffers.
He emphatically stated that he will prove his innocence once the cases move to the higher courts.
“I am not afraid to go to jail. They don’t need to drag me to jail. I will voluntarily surrender once a warrant is issued,” he said in the presence of family members and friends in attendance at the Senate gallery.
To his father, former president Joseph Estrada, and mother, former Senator Loi Estrada, he said: “Don’t worry about me, I can do this.”
He addressed his siblings, saying: “Thank you for your understanding.”
To his wife Precy, he said: “I am sorry for all the hurt I’ve brought you. I hope you will remain strong for our kids.”
“I would have loved to marry you again in church, but that would nearly be impossible. But I will marry you even if I were in jail,” he added, referencing their upcoming 25th wedding anniversary.
Estrada reminded his kids to be humble and remain proud of the family name.
Estrada described the Office of the Ombudsman as a “speedy convicting court” for having filed a plunder case which, he said, lacked the necessary element to pin him down.
“For a plunder complaint to stand, the accused should have allegedly diverted P50 million or so. I did not get a single centavo,” he said.
He added that the testimonies of government witnesses were lacking key elements.
“[Former Estrada social secretary] Ruby Tuason said she does not even know how much businesswoman Janet Napoles was supposedly giving me.”
Estrada showed a picture of Tuason’s visit to the Senate, during which she allegedly distributed money contained in a duffel bag; however, the photo did not show her with a duffel bag.
“It’s not money, but food was brought. Most often than not, those were sandwiches,” he said of the occasions that Tuason distribute goods from a duffel bag.
He said the ledgers of whistleblower Benhur Luy “when summed up, the amount does not even total P50 million. Some of his allegations were even hearsay.”
The beleaguered senator added, however, that the small amount of hope he had in Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales’ sense of justice dissipated when the latter released statements to the media declaring him and his opposition colleagues, Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Bong Revilla, guilty as charged.
Estrada called this a “selective accusation,” which he claimed was not the sole act of Morales but also of other institutions: the media, Commission on Audit, Department of Justice, and even the Senate.