Jinggoy may spend Christmas in jail
Rhodina Villanueva (The Philippine Star) - December 16, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Jinggoy Estrada may spend Christmas in jail as the Sandiganbayan’s Fifth Division will not be able to rule on his petition for bail in time.

Fifth Division Clerk of Court, lawyer Ma. Teresa Pabulayan, confirmed yesterday that the justices of the Fifth Division sent a letter to the Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday asking for 15 more days to resolve Estrada’s bail plea.

She said they are awaiting the SC response to the request. Should it be granted, the anti-graft court is expected to issue its ruling on Jan. 13, 2016 at the latest.

“The reason cited (in the letter of request) was the voluminous documentary evidence that needs to be reviewed,” Pabulayan added.

She said the justices told the High Tribunal that they are still reviewing the transcripts of the testimonies of the witnesses presented in almost 15 months of hearing the bail petition.

“It is not possible to issue a ruling within 48 hours. The justices said they will work on the petition even during the holidays,” Pabulayan said.

The Fifth Division has been hearing Estrada’s bail plea since July 2014. Estrada is on trial for plunder over his alleged involvement in the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam.

Based on an SC  memorandum, the trial court must resolve a bail petition within 48 hours after it is formally submitted for resolution, unless the court is able to obtain a permission from the High Tribunal for an extension in resolving the plea.

Last Tuesday, Estrada’s bail petition was formally submitted for resolution of the Fifth Division after both the defense and the prosecution submitted their memoranda summarizing the testimony of their witnesses and the gist of the documentary evidence they presented to the court in more than a year of hearings.

Estrada is currently detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

ACIRC CAMP CRAME FIFTH DIVISION FIFTH DIVISION CLERK OF COURT HIGH TRIBUNAL JINGGOY ESTRADA LAST TUESDAY NBSP PABULAYAN PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE CUSTODIAL CENTER QUEZON CITY
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