MANILA -– Senator Jinggoy Estrada maintained on Monday that he has no plan to leave the country amid his impending arrest over plunder and graft charges filed against him and two other senators in the Sandiganbayan.
”I will not leave the country. I will not escape. I will face the case,” Estrada reacted after the fifth division of the Sandiganbayan issued a hold departure order (HDO) against him.
Estrada said he is ready to face the plunder charges, also filed against fellow Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Ramon Revilla Jr., by the Ombudsman in the Sandiganbayan in connection with the alleged pork barrel scam.
”If they will also issue warrant of arrest, it’s okay for me,” Estrada said in a Senate media interview.
The Sandiganbayan’s fifth division will handle the plunder case of Estrada while those of Revilla and Enrile landed in the first and third divisions, respectively.
Based on the findings of the Ombudsman, Revilla allegedly received kickbacks amounting to P242 million from the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) he released to the bogus non-government organizations (NGOs) of businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles from 2007 to 2009.
On the other hand, Estrada allegedly got P183 million commission while Enrile received P172 million.
Meanwhile, Revilla expressed optimism that he will be cleared from the allegations that he misused his PDAF.
”I never misused my PDAF. Benhur Luy (whistleblower) admitted that he faked my signatures,” Revilla said in a radio dzRH interview.
Revilla stressed he never turned his back against the almost 20 million Filipinos who voted for him.