MANILA—The Sandiganbayan has allowed former Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada to attend the 80th birthday of his father former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada on April 19, 2017.
In the minutes of the proceedings dated April 10, 2017, the Sandiganbayan’s Fifth Division granted the motion for furlough of the former senator on April 19, 2017 from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
The Sandiganbayan granted such motion of the former lawmaker in line with the “Filipino customs and traditions” as well as the giving of respect and recognition to the parents and the elders.
It was learned that in the original motion of the younger Estrada, he has asked for a “12-hour furlough” from April 18-19, 2017 so that he could help in the preparations of their family for the birthday of his father.
However, the Sandiganbayan only granted a “6-hour furlough.”
The former senator is facing graft and plunder charges before the Sandiganbayan for allegedly receiving PHP183.793 million in “kickbacks” from his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), or “pork barrel”, through the “bogus” non-government organizations (NGOs) of businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.
He has been detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City since 2014 due to the “non-bailable” offense of plunder.
Napoles is the alleged “brains” behind the PHP10-billion pork barrel and the PHP900-million Malampaya Fund scams.