MANILA (Mabuhay) – Former President and incumbent Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada on Monday remained confident that the graft and plunder cases against his son, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada will be dismissed due to lack of merit.
“Hindi lang weak, sa tingin ko very very weak. Nagmamadali sila, kesyo wala naman talagang kaso,” Erap said in an interview with reporters during a break in his son’s arraignment proceedings.
Aside from one count of plunder, Estrada is also accused of 11 counts of graft in connection with the P10-B pork barrel scam.
Estrada allegedly diverted his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF or pork barrel) allocation to fake NGOs put up by trader Janet Lim-Napoles, and pocketed P183.79 million in kickbacks.
Accused of plunder before the anti-graft court’s Fifth Division together with him are Napoles, Estrada’s chief of staff Pauline Labayen, and Napoles’ driver John Raymund de Asis. Labayen and de Asis remain at large.
Erap attended Jinggoy’s arraignment on Monday with wife Dra. Loi Ejercito and two other children, Jackie and Jude. Jinggoy’s wife Precy Ejercito was also present.
Meanwhile, Erap also said that he remains confident that Jinggoy will be acquitted.
“We think so, kagaya din nung the last time that I was charged, sinama rin si Jinggoy. After two and a half years na-acquit din siya. ‘Yan din ang mangyayari ngayon,” Erap said.
Sen. Estrada was charged with his father, Erap, then president, for plunder. Erap was later found guilty of pocketing government funds.
Erap also said Jinggoy has the full support of the Estrada clan.
“I’m very confident that he can defend himself. He has my family’s support,” he said.
He added, however, that he worries for Jinggoy’s children, saying Jinggoy’s case was “mental torture.”
“Siyempre masakit ‘yun but I know he will overcome it. But what I’m worried about are his children, ‘yung mga apo ko. It’s mental torture. Pati ang nanay niyang si Dra. Loi, ‘di ko na makausap. Dasal na lang ng dasal,” he said. (MNS)