THE Supreme Court on Tuesday affirmed the Office of the Ombudsman’s finding of probable cause to indict former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada for the crime
of graft and plunder for allegedly pocketing multimillion kickbacks from his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork-barrel fund allotment.
At a news briefing on Tuesday, SC Spokesman Theodore O. Te said the High Tribunal voted 6-4 against Estrada, paving the way for the trial of case before the Sandiganbayan to proceed. Four associate justices abstained from participating in the deliberations.
However, the High Court has yet to release copies of the decision and identities of the concurring and dissenting justices.
Estrada, son of former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph E. Estrada, was allowed by the Sandiganbayan, which is handling the cases against him, to post a P1.33-million bail for his temporary liberty in September last year.
Aside from plunder, Estrada also faces 11 counts of graft for allegedly pocketing some P183 million in kickbacks from his pork-barrel allocations, which was coursed through bogus NGOs established by alleged pork-barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
A resolution issued by the Sandiganbayan Special Fifth Division said it granted Estrada’s bail petition because the evidence, so far, did not point to him as a “main plunderer.”