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Jinggoy clueless on DOJ's plan to utilize him as DAP witness

Former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada answered "let's just cross the bridge when we get there” when asked if he is willing to be a state witness in the supposed DAP anomaly. AP, File
MANILA, Philippines — Former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada said he was not aware of any plan by the Department of Justice to tap him as state witness in the alleged anomaly concerning the Aquino administration's multibillion-peso Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
“Wala akong alam doon (I don't know anything about that). I haven't heard of anything. Nobody has talked to me about it,” Estrada told reporters after appearing before the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division Monday.
The formal trial of Estrada's plunder case in connection with the equally controversial, pork barrel fund scam, was supposed to start Monday but it was deferred to next week for lack of quorum as one of the three Justices composing the Fifth Division was absent as he was reportedly sick.
After more than three years, Estrada was released from detention on Saturday after the Sandiganbayan granted his motion for bail. He posted P1.33 million bail bond for plunder and 11 counts of graft.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre on Sunday told the STAR that Estrada “can be used as a state witness in the investigation and possible cases on the DAP anomaly”.
A task force had earlier been created by the DOJ to investigate on the previous administration's DAP.
Former President Benigno Aquino had earlier maintained that DAP was implemented to accelerate public spending and to spur economic growth.
The Supreme Court in 2014 found several acts under DAP as “unconstitutional” among this is the declaration of unobligated funds as “savings” and the funds' cross-border transfer to other offices outside the executive.
Asked if he is willing to be a state witness in the supposed DAP anomaly, Estrada said: “I don't know yet. Let's just cross the bridge when we get there.”
“But I have a privilege speech about that,” he added.
In his privilege speech in 2013, then Sen. Estrada, bared that he and his fellow senators were given P50 million each by the Aquino administration for voting in favor of the conviction of then Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Estrada said the pay-off to him and his fellow senators was sourced from the DAP.
The Senate, sitting as an impeachment court, found Corona guilty of betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution causing his removal from office in 2012. The case stemmed from Corona's alleged failure to declare in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth several assets including real estate properties.
Corona passed away on April 29, 2016 due to cardiac arrest after years of battling diabetes.
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