Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima took a swipe at administration senatorial candidate Jinggoy Estrada for persistently feeding the Filipino public with outright lies in a desperate move to regain their trust and earn their votes in the coming May elections.
De Lima, a former justice secretary, said Estrada should stop fooling the Filipinos into believing his supposed innocence over plunder charges following Ombudsman’s recent confirmation that there is enough evidence to prove his guilt of the said crime.
“Nagtataka talaga ako sa lakas ng loob ng mga gaya niya na kumandidato, humarap sa mga tao at magreklamo tungkol sa dinanas daw nilang panggigipit sa nakaraang administrasyon. Pero kung titingnan naman kung gaano katibay ang mga ebidensya laban sa kanila, malinaw na sangkot sila sa anomalya,” she said.
“Kitang-kita ang estilo nila: Maninira at maninisi sila ng iba para magmukha silang malinis. Magpakatotoo na sila, lalung-lalo na si Jinggoy, dahil hindi lang nila niloloko ang kanilang sarili, kundi ang taumbayan,” she added.
Estrada was charged with plunder for purportedly funneling his congressional development fund amounting to PhP183.79 million to bogus foundations linked with businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged pork barrel scam mastermind.
He is currently on bail after serving more than three years in detention.
Last Feb. 27, the prosecution has reportedly pressed the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division to scrap Estrada’s motion for leave to file a demurrer to evidence, which would allow him to seek the outright dismissal of his plunder case.
The Ombudman prosecutors said the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) report baring Estrada’s receipt of PhP70.7 million worth of kickbacks from Napoles is enough evidence to prove his role in the pork barrel fund scam.
“Such verification and confirmation by the AMLC is nothing less than corroborative to the testimony on record that indeed Estrada received kickbacks/commissions, therefore amassing, accumulating and acquiring ill-gotten wealth,” they said.
The lady Senator from Bicol said she hopes Estrada would stop mocking her to improve his already-tainted reputation, especially during his provincial campaign sorties, saying that “making fun of my unjust detention will not make you any better.”
“As I’ve mentioned before, you and I are different. I am deprived of my freedom because of the personal and political vendetta of Mr. Duterte who saw me as his political enemy while you are facing plunder charges because you stole from the Filipino’s money. This is not about political climate,” she said.
“The Senate doors should be closed to liars and plunderers,” she added.
During the Aquino administration, De Lima led the investigation of the multi-million pork barrel scam and filed plunder and graft charges against Estrada along with then Senators Ramon Revilla and Juan Ponce Enrile and several other lawmakers. Estrada, Revilla and Enrile are running for senator this coming May 13 elections.
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