Innocents in jail

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Sens. Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada, two of three senators charged with plunder in relation to the P10-billion pork barrel scam, are now cellmates at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

Revilla is accused of embezzling P242 million from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), while Estrada was accused of plundering P183 million, also from the PDAF.

Both claimed they were innocent of the plunder charges against them. We now have two more innocents in jail.

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The third senator, Juan Ponce Enrile, accused of pocketing P172 million of his pork barrel funds, has reportedly filed a motion to dismiss the plunder case against him.

His lawyers may also ask the anti-graft court to allow Enrile, now 90 and with a host of ailments, to post bail or grant him a house or hospital arrest.

He would be sorely missed by his fellow innocents now lodging at the PNP Custodial Center.

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Both Revilla and Estrada surrendered after the Sandiganbayan issued warrants for their arrest, Revilla on Friday and Estrada on Monday.

Some of Estrada’s supporters who gathered in front of the PNP headquarters to give him moral support wore T-shirts marked “Keep the faith and hold on” and “It might be stormy now, but the sun will shine again.”

Revilla wore a white T-shirt printed with the words, “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?”

It was immediately answered. They jailed him.

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Both Estrada and Revilla blame their predicament on politics, accusing the administration of singling out opposition lawmakers in the prosecution of pork barrel scammers.

Revilla is said to eyeing the presidency in 2016. What if he’d win while he’s in jail?

Can he pardon himself?

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 25, 2014.

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