JUSTICES of the Sandiganbayan were disappointed with the camp of ex-Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada for delaying the court proceedings.
At the start of the first day of the trial of Estrada’s plunder case yesterday, the lawyers submitted a very late motion questioning the draft pre-trial order.
Associate Justice Rafael Lagos, chairman of the Fifth Division, scolded Estrada’s lawyers saying this is a clear indication of prolonging the trial.
This prompted the Sandiganbayan to postpone the trial.
“It shows that you (just want) the initial trial not to start. If you believe you have a point, you should’ve done that two weeks ago,” Lagos said.
“Their client is detained. If they just want to prolong everything, it’s okay with us… Set tayo ng set ayaw n’yo namang matuloy. Bahala kayo,” he added.
Shortly after the proceeding, Estrada granted a media interview during which he denied delaying the trial.
“As far as we are concerned, we are not delaying the hearing, because I am in detention for already more than three years.. Kung ako ang masusunod, gusto ko nang mag-start yung hearing para that will give me a chance to prove that I am innocent of all charges leveled against me,” Estrada said.
The fifth division set the trial after the termination of the pre-trial proceedings when both prosecution and defense panels agreed that the list of documentary evidence is faithful reproductions of originals.
Estrada has been detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial center for three years now. He is charged with plunder, a non-bailable offense, for allegedly earning P183 million kickbacks from projects funded by his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel.
Aside from plunder he is also facing 11counts of graft also over alleged misuse of pork barrel.
Estrada yesterday filed a motion asking permission from the Sandiganbayan to allow him to undergo a medical procedure.
The accused requested a two-day furlough to undergo colon examination.
In his motion, Estrada said he has to undergo video colonoscopy at the soonest possible time at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center after he was found to have “elevated levels of CEA (carcinoembryonic antigen).”
“The doctor advised me to undergo colonoscopy, up and down, gastroscopy tsaka colonoscopy... Mayroon lang mga elevated blood test na nakita, abnormalities din,” Estrada said in an inetrview.
“As far as all my blood chemistries are concerned, normal naman,” he added.
The procedure usually takes 30 to 60 minutes, but the preparation and post-procedure observations require 24 hours each.