MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Detained former senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr seems to believe that his fellow former senator Jinggoy Estrada may soon be out on bail, as Sandiganbayan Special 5th Division is set to issue its decision on Estrada’s bail petition.
Anti-graft court Sandiganbayan has created a special division after the regular 5th Division reached an impasse on the petition. The division’s clerk of court has said it is already on agenda.
Asked about the impending decision after his plunder hearing on Thursday, September 14, Revilla said “Speechless ako, parang siyempre (of course), I’m happy for him.”
He added, while laughing: “Nalulungkot ako dahil iiwan na ko ni Senator Jinggoy (I’m sad that Senator Jinggoy will leave me).”
Reporters asked if Estrada is packing up, Revilla responded: “Medyo nagbabalot-balot na [siya] (He’s starting to pack up),” Revilla said.
Meanwhile, in a statement to reporters, Estrada said there’s “no movement.” “Hindi ako nagliligpit,” he said. (I’m not gathering my things.)
Will Jinggoy really get bail? Revilla believes so, and so do several sources.
They are both detained at the custodial center of the Philippine National Police (PNP) at Camp Crame in Quezon City.
The regular 5th Division composed of Associate Justices Rafael Lagos, Maria Theresa Mendoza-Arcega and Reynaldo Cruz were not able to reach a unanimous decision on Estrada’s omnibus petition for bail, which is required under the Sandiganbayan rules.
Last month, following the rules, Associate Justices Lorifel Lacap Pahimna and Zaldy Trespeses were raffled off to form the special division.
Revilla said he will likely follow suit and file a second petition for bail.
“I will leave that to my lawyers pero siguro naman gagawin din namin yan tulad kay Senator Jinggoy, a second petition for bail. Kaya naniniwala pa rin naman akong merong hustisya sa bansa, dasal lang (but we will probably do what Senator Jinggoy did, a second petition for bail. That’s why I still believe that there is justice in this country, just pray,” he said.
Ombudsman prosecutors have opposed Estrada’s omnibus petition which was filed in September 2016, or 4 months since the old 5th Division denied with finality the bail plea of the former senator. The court initially dismissed it in January 2016.
The decision in May 2016 was already a denial of the 1st Motion for Reconsideration (MR) so the September petition, the prosecutors said, is already a 2nd MR.
A second motion, prosecutors said, “is procedurally frowned upon” and should be immediately dismissed for violating procedure. – Rappler.com