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Jinggoy: Sandigan pork scam ruling rushed

Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) - February 9, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Claiming that the Sandiganbayan may have made a decision in a rush, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada said he will move for a reconsideration of the anti-graft court’s decision allowing an Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) report to be used as evidence in the pork barrel scam case against him.

His lawyers said they will appeal a recent ruling denying a motion to suppress filed by the lawmaker to exclude the bank inquiry report and the testimony of lawyer Orlando Negradas Jr. from the ongoing bail hearing.

Estrada’s defense counsels maintained that the AMLC bypassed important procedures and, in the process, violated their client’s constitutional rights.

“The court could have exercised prudence instead of rushing to decide to accept documents and testimonies taken unlawfully,” Alexis Abastillas Suarez said.

She added that this could set a precedent, saying that “if this can happen to a senator, what will keep the same injustice from not happening to ordinary mortals?”

The defense said it will file an appeal before the Sandiganbayan to reconsider its decision on the AMLC documents after the court allegedly hastily issued its ruling on Feb. 2.

After Estrada’s lawyers alternately raised objections to the ruling as promulgated through mere verbal notice, they said the anti-graft court called for a brief recess to prepare the written decision. The justices later emerged and signed in open court the three-page verdict. 

“Why the rush? Had they given any attention to the arguments raised in our reply, they would have seen that indeed the AMLC truly circumvented legal processes and violated basic human rights just so it can pin down Estrada,” the lawyers said.

AFTER ESTRADA ALEXIS ABASTILLAS SUAREZ AMLC ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING COUNCIL COURT DECISION FEB JINGGOY ESTRADA ORLANDO NEGRADAS JR. SANDIGANBAYAN
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