Sandiganbayan suspends Benguet provincial board member pending graft trial

Sandiganbayan allows Jinggoy to take rest in Hong Kong before 2019 campaign season

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The Sandiganbayan has granted former Senator Jinggoy Estrada permission to go to Hong Kong to “have a rest from the pressure of his everyday concerns before the campaign period.”

In a recent 2-page minute resolution, the court’s 5th Division allowed Estrada to leave the country from December 26 to 31.

“Considering that the right to travel is a constitutional right which cannot be impaired except in cases provided for by law, and that accused-movant Estrada has been previously granted travel abroad, the instant motion is granted,” read the document signed by Associate Justices Rafael Lagos, Maria Theresa Mendoza-Arcega and Maryann Corpus-Mañalac.

It said it would hold on to the P2.66-million travel bond posted by Estrada for his previous overseas trips as a guarantee for his compliance to the court’s conditions.

The court warned that any violation of the terms “shall be sufficient ground for this court to order the forfeiture of his travel bond, as well as to cause the issuance of a warrant for his arrest.”

This would be the fifth time for Estrada to go abroad since he was allowed to post bail and walk out of detention in September 2017.

Estrada was accused of receiving P183.8 million in kickbacks in exchange for endorsing the release of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations to the bogus foundations of convicted pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.

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