Jinggoy asks court nod for Hong Kong family holiday

Lian Buan
Jinggoy asks court nod for Hong Kong family holiday
'The family has been longing for bonding outside of the country,' plunder defendant Jinggoy Estrada tells the court

MANILA, Philippines – Former senator and plunder defendant Jinggoy Estrada filed a travel motion Tuesday, December 5, before the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan to be allowed to fly to Hong Kong for the holidays with his family.

Estrada appealed to the 5th Division to allow his flight “for purpose of a long desired family bonding and holiday trip” which he said he has “long promised” his wife and kids. As a defendant in the plunder charges over the multi-billion peso pork barrel scam, he has to have permission of the court every time he wants to leave the country.

Estrada, with wife Precy and children Janella, Jolo, Julian and Jill, have booked their flights to Hong Kong from December 26 to 31, and their accommodations at the Marco Polo hotel. 

Estrada was freed on September 16 despite the non-bailable charges of plunder after a special division of 5 ruled there was not sufficient evidence as of yet to prove he’s the main plunderer. He posted a P1.33 million bail for his temporary freedom.

“After accused-movant was allowed bail, the family has been longing for bonding outside of the country. The Christmas holidays would be the most opportune time to have this,” he said in his motion.

Track record is on his side, because just this November, the 5th Division allowed him to travel to Singapore to accompany his father, Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada, for a medical trip.

The Singapore trip proves he is not a flight risk, says Estrada. 

His trial for plunder is ongoing at the Sandiganbayan, where he is accused of earning P183.793 million in kickbacks from his Priority Development Assistance Fund or PDAF.

Fellow plunder defendant and ‘best friend’ Bong Revilla has begun the legal process of moving for an outright dismissal. – Rappler.com

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Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.