Estrada opposes special courts to try son, others-A A +A
Thursday, June 12, 2014
FORMER President now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada said Thursday it is useless to have at least two special divisions in the Sandiganbayan that will try, hear and decide on cases related to the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.
"Is it that necessary? I think one division is enough," he told reporters following the celebration of the Philippine Independence Day at the Rizal Park in Manila.
The mayor was convicted of plunder in 2007 by a special division in the Sandiganbayan created by the Supreme Court (SC) in 2001.
The Office of the Ombudsman wanted the SC to do the same in PDAF cases, citing their "national magnitude, complexities, number of accused and far-reaching consequences."
But the High Court will only make up its mind on the request once the comments from the Sandiganbayan and parties to the cases are in.
Estrada's son, Jinggoy Estrada, is one of the three senators charged with plunder and graft for allegedly diverting their pork barrel to fake non-government organizations (NGOs) of businesswoman Janet Napoles.
The Manila mayor said he does not worry about cases filed against his son. "I don't worry about anything, he can defend himself," he said.
The senator, who lambasted the Aquino administration for trying to destroy the opposition through cases and malicious media reports, allegedly took P183 million in kickbacks.
Estrada and Vice President Jejomar Binay called for politicking timeout while the country marks its Independence Day.
The two officials together with Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario led the flag raising ceremony in Manila for the 116th Philippine Independence Day celebration.
"This is Independence Day, huwag muna natin intindihin ang politics," Binay said.
Caloocan City Representative Edgar Erice, an administration ally, earlier called on Binay's resignation from the Cabinet.
"It is about time for Vice President Binay to show his true color. Is he is an ally of the administration or the head of the opposition?" Erice said as he cited Binay's key role in the opposition.
"Sabi niya (Erice) 'yun," said Binay, current chairman Housing Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and Presidential Adviser for OFW Concerns. (With Third Anne Peralta/Sunnex)