The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division should really be commended for not giving credence to the five-page motion by the lawyers of detained Senator Jinggoy Estrada to allow the latter to leave the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame and observe All Saints’ Day at different cemeteries even for four hours only – 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
I am sure this move was initiated by Estrada and I wonder what made him think of himself so special that he thought he would be granted a breather outside the center.
In opposing the motion, the justices said that a five-hour pass would “create an impression that Estrada, being a high-ranking public official, is a favored detainee over and above other similarly situated detainees” if granted by the Sandiganbayan.
“As a detention prisoner, accused should not be treated differently from all other prisoners who may want to visit the dead and their dearly departed on All Saints’ Day.”
It seems like the confinement of Estrada and his description as a detainee has not sunk in yet until this time.
It could also be that his arrogance continues to blind him from his scandalous indiscretions such that he could not realize reality from fiction especially that he went on practicing his trade as an actor even when he was already a senator.
Estrada is accused of pocketing P183.79 million in kickbacks from dealings with fake NGOs from 2004 to 2012. The Ombudsman said Estrada chose bogus NGOs as “project partners” for livelihood projects financed by his PDAF.