No TRO for Estrada in plunder suit

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

SENATOR Jinggoy Estrada failed to get a temporary restraining order (TRO) from the Supreme Court (SC) on his plea to stop the Office of the Ombudsman from pursuing the plunder case against him in connection with the pork barrel scam.

Instead, the SC ordered the Ombudsman, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and lawyer Levito Baligod, former legal counsel of main whistleblower Benhur Luy, to comment on the senator's petition within 10 days.

In his petition, Estrada said his constitutional right to due process was "grievously ignored, trampled upon and violated" after the Ombudsman denied his request to be furnished with copies of the affidavits of the whistleblowers and other respondents which were used as basis in indicting him.

He lamented that the anti-graft body's finding of probable cause dated April 1 was "premised on evidence not disclosed to him" and that he was effectively prevented from exercising his right to answer and to rebut the allegations made against him.

The Ombudsman provided Estrada copies of the affidavits soon after he sought redress with the SC.

Estrada had already denied the allegation that he received P183.79 million as commission for diverting his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to businesswoman Janet Napoles' fake foundations, which allegedly carried out ghost projects in recent years. (Sunnex)

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