Estrada: Luy-Baligod breakup ‘plus points’ for us

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

SENATOR Jinggoy Estrada, one of the senators accused of plunder before the Office of the Ombudsman, thinks the prosecution's case is "crumbling" after the main whistleblower in the pork barrel scam decided to drop his chief legal counsel.

Saying he has been "very busy" with his "other advocacies," pork scam whistleblower Benhur Luy removed his lawyer, Levito Baligod, effective March 3. Luy is expected to appear before the Senate Blue Ribbon committee on March 6 with a new set of lawyers.

"Basta ako, opinyon ko, parang nagdi-disintegrate na sila. Of course, kapag hindi sila organized siyempre plus points sa amin iyon. Good for us," Estrada told reporters.

"Pero kahit intact pa rin sila, good for us pa rin dahil mahina ang ebidensya nila laban sa amin," the senator added.

Estrada, along with Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. and Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, is accused of plunder for allegedly conniving with pork scam queen Janet Lim-Napoles to pocket taxpayers' money through their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocation.

Senate President Franklin Drilon said there is nothing wrong with Luy's decision to cut his ties with Baligod.

"Kung for whatever reason ayaw na ng kliyente ang abugado, wala pong karapatan ang abugado na mamilit na magpatuloy ng kanyang serbisyo. Kasama po talaga yan sa aming proposeyon, wala pong masama dyan," Drilon, a lawyer, said.

"Wala akong nakikitang epekto sa kaso dahil hindi naman testigo si Atty. Baligod sa kaso, ang testigo dito si Benhur Luy," Senator Francis Escudero, for his part, said.

Escudero said he intends to clarify with Luy why he dropped his chief counsel in the Senate Blue Ribbon hearing on Thursday.

Estrada meanwhile said he will again opt out of the hearing where Technology Resource Center (TRC) director general head Dennis Cunanan is also expected to tell all in relation to the pork barrel scam.

"My lawyers don't want me to attend. They want me to be consistent in not appearing in the hearing," he said.

Estrada said he will instead avail of the privilege hour in the Senate next week to answer the accusations of Cunanan. (Sunnex)

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