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Jinggoy pays P1.33-M bail for plunder, graft cases

Staff of Sandiganbayan Cashier's Office receiving the cash bond paid by Jinggoy Estrada's lawyers on his behalf. Elizabeth Marcelo
MANILA, Philippines — Former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada posted bail Saturday morning for his plunder and graft cases over his alleged involvement in the pork barrel fund scam.
The bail bond of P1.33 million was paid to the Sandiganbayan cash office by his legal counsel.
A special division of the anti-graft court on Friday granted his petition for bail.
Those who voted in favor of Estrada's bail were Associate Justices Ma. Theresa Mendoza-Arcega, Reynaldo Cruz and Lorifel Pahimna.
Those who dissented were Fifth Division chairman Associate Rafael Lagos and Associate Justice Zaldy Trespeses.
In the dispositive portion of the resolution the court said Estrada is not a flight risk as he is “former Senator of the Philippines and a prominent personality”.
The court also noted that Estrada voluntarily surrendered himself before the court when the cases were filed and that his detention for more than three years now, “negate the intention or inclination to evade the legal processes.”
A copy of a release order, signed by Associate Justice Edgardo Calona, was later issued by the anti-graft court directing the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center to release Estrada.
Estrada, whose previous petition to be granted bail had been denied, argued that the prosecution failed to identify him in the charge sheet as the "main plunderer" in the case.
Estrada argued if the alleged P183-million kickbacks from his Priority Development Assistance Fund is to be divided among him and his three co-accused, each's share would only amount to P45.9-million. That is below the P50 million threshold amount of illegally amassed fund for a crime to be considered as plunder.
Estrada has been detained at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City. Lawyer Alexis Abastillas Suarez said Estrada is expected to attend a thanksgiving mass once released. — Elizabeth Marcelo
This is a developing story
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