MANILA The Sandiganbayan is now awaiting the reply of the prosecution panel of the Office of the Ombudsman, following the claim of a Filipino-American group that it did not invite former Senator Jose Jinggoy P. Estrada as a speaker in an event.
Associate Justice Rafael Lagos said that for as long as the prosecution had not yet filed its appeal, the court would also not take action on the matter.
In his travel motion, Estrada argued that he was invited by the United States Pinoys for Good Governance (USPGG) to be a speaker in their annual membership event in Michigan, United States in May this year.
However, in the earlier statement issued by USPGG Chairperson Loida Nicolas-Lewis, she denied that their group invited the former senator to be part of the said program.
USPGG did not invite Jinggoy Estrada to speak in Michigan under USPGG nor is any program being planned by USPGG Michigan, since Willie Dechavez is on vacation in the Philippines, Nicolas-Lewis said in the statement.
In his reply to the statement, Estrada said he would instead visit his relatives and have his injury on his shoulder be checked up.
The camp of Estrada presented to the Sandiganbayan 5th Division the alleged invitation from the USPGG, which prompted the anti-graft court to allow him to travel in the United States of America from April 21, 2018 to May 31, 2018.
In 2014, Estrada and his colleagues, former senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Ramon Bong Revilla Jr., were indicted for their alleged involvement in the scams allegedly initiated by jailed businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.
Napoles is the alleged brains of the PHP10-billion pork barrel and the PHP900-million Malampaya fund scams.
In 2017, the court allowed Estrada to post a PHP1-million bail bond for the plunder case and PHP330,000 for the 11-counts of graft case for his temporary liberty.
Source: Philippine News Agency