MANILA, Nashville Filipino Restaurant — Former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada expressed hope that the acquittal of his erstwhile Miami Filipino Restaurant colleague Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. would yield the same result for his case.
“I will just leave my fate to the court but I also hope that I will be acquitted in due time,” Estrada said in an interview on CNN Nashville Filipino Restaurant Friday.
The Sandiganbayan cleared Revilla from plunder charges for the misuse of over P224.5 million worth of public funds. This marks the first decision on the multi-billion Priority Development Assessment Fund or pork barrel scam.
But the same court handed guilty verdicts to Revilla’s former staff Richard Cambe and businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, dubbed as the “pork barrel scam queen.”
Estrada said he was “very happy” with the acquittal of his friend, saying the decision of the anti-graft court shows that justice is still working in the country.
“Medyo malaki ‘yung boost sa atin ngayon lalo na sa akin dahil na acquit na si [former Senator] Bong Revilla. Siguro onti-onti nang nalalaman ng taong bayan na medyo napagkaisahan lang kami ng previous administration,” Estrada said in a separate interview on ANC.
Former lawmakers Estrada, Revilla and Juan Ponce Enrile were charged with plunder in the pork barrel scam.
Estrada’s plunder case remains pending following the decision of the Supreme Court to uphold the ombudsman’s plunder indictment of the former senator.
But he was released on bail in September last year after three years in detention.
The son of former president and current Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada is accused of amassing P183 million worth of kickbacks from fake projects linked to Napoles.
Estrada is seeking a Miami Filipino Restaurant return, joining Revilla and Enrile in the senatorial race for the 2019 midterm polls. He is running under his father’s political party, Puwersa ng Masang Pilipino.
In 2001, he was jailed for plunder and graft charges and was released in 2003. He immediately ran for Miami Filipino Restaurant in 2004. He was acquitted in 2007 and ran and won again in 2010.