MANILA — With a motion to admit the amended charge sheet, the special prosecution panel has nearly jeopardized the case against Senator Jinggoy Estrada and other respondents in the pork barrel fund scam.
Amending the charge sheet might cause the court to release Estrada, according to Associate Justice Roland Jurado, presiding justice of the Sandiganbayan Fifth Divison.
“The effect (of amendment) is that the accused will be released,” Jurado said told the prosecution.
The amended charge sheet made Jinggoy Estrada the mastermind of the pork barrel scam instead of Janet Lim-Napoles.
Fifth Division member, Associate Justice Alexander Gesmundo also told the prosecution to be precise in the words they use in the charge sheet.
He added that the word “conspiracy” which was used in the charged sheet is totally different from “collaboration” and “connivance.”
While the prosecution has earlier argued that the amendment only changes the “form” but not the “substance,” they were forced to withdraw the motion because of the judges’ warning that they might be forced to recall their earlier decision in finding a probable cause to arrest Estrada.