MANILA – Senator Jinggoy Estrada’s legal counsel expects some delays in the issuance of warrants of arrest for those accused in the pork barrel scam.
Atty. Jose Flaminiano said the Sandiganbayan must first distribute or “raffle off” the 42 graft and 3 plunder cases filed by the Ombudsman to specific Sandiganbayan divisions.
The next step would be for the anti-graft court judges to review a “truckload of evidence” to decide if there is probable cause to justify the issuance of warrants of arrest.
Flaminiano pointed out that the 10 days given to courts to review the cases may not be enough.
Similarly, Sandiganbayan Spokesperson Renato Bocar confirmed that 10 days would likjely not be sufficient time for the justices to determine probable cause on the cases filed.
He said that court rules allot 10 days for the determination of probable cause. But since these particular cases are “complicated”, it may very well take more than 10 days to determine.
Bocar also noted that the motions for judicial determination of probable cause filed by Senator Bong Revilla and his staff, Atty. Richard Cambe, Budget Undersecretary Mario Relampagos and three other budget department staff are just tactics to delay the process.
“Paraan lang para madelay ang pag-issue ng (These are just ways to delay the issuance of) warrant of arrest,” he said.
Bocar likewise explained that if the Supreme Court calls for the creation of one or more special courts to exclusively try the pork barrel scam cases, the volume of information will then have to be transferred from the regular divisions to the special courts created; a factor that could further contribute to delay.