Jinggoy Estrada acquitted of plunder, bribery in pork barrel scam convicted


Senator Jinggoy Estrada has been acquitted of plunder charges but found guilty of direct and indirect bribery in connection with the widely publicized pork barrel scam of 2013.

The Sandiganbayan 5th Division released a verdict on Friday, January 19, stating that the senator was convicted of one count of direct bribery, potentially leading to a prison sentence of eight to nine years, and two counts of indirect bribery, carrying a possible imprisonment term of two to three years. Additionally, he faces a P3 million fine.

In the same case, his co-accused, businesswoman Janet Napoles, was cleared of plunder but was found guilty of corruption of public officials, resulting in a fine of P29.62 million.

Jinggoy Estrada was accused of misappropriating P183 million from his pork barrel, known as the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), between 2004 and 2010. Plunder complaints were filed against him, Napoles, and senators Bong Revilla and Juan Ponce Enrile by the Office of the Ombudsman in June 2014. Despite surrendering to the police shortly after the complaint was lodged, Estrada vehemently denied any involvement in the allegations.

Granted bail in September 2017, the senator faced trial for six years, during which he consistently asserted his innocence. The recent Sandiganbayan ruling emphasized that state prosecutors did not withhold evidence in the graft complaints against Estrada.

It’s worth noting that Senator Bong Revilla was acquitted of plunder in 2018, and Juan Ponce Enrile’s motion to dismiss the plunder complaint against him was granted by the Sandiganbayan last year.

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