Jinggoy Estrada on plunder acquittal: A vindication

(GMA NEWS) Senator Jinggoy Estrada on Friday welcomed his acquittal from the plunder charge in relation to the multi-billion peso pork barrel scam, saying it was a vindication of his name. 

“This is a vindication of my name and I am emerging victorious at this point,” Estrada said in an ambush interview after the promulgation of his case at the Sandiganbayan.

According to the senator, the acquittal says that he “did not steal any money and did not receive any money.”

Estrada’s legal counsel Atty. Alexis Abastillas Suarez also considered the acquittal a “very, very big victory.” 

Though the anti-graft court cleared Estrada of plunder, it found him guilty of one count of direct bribery and two counts of indirect bribery.

Estrada said his conviction for bribery “surprised” him.

“I am so surprised because based on the info sheet there was no bribery or indirect or direct bribery filed in the info sheet. It is only the case of plunder and I have been acquitted, exonerated,” he said.

Estrada said his camp will exhaust all legal remedies and that he believes in the justice system. 

“Nothing is final, okay. That is appealable. We will file the necessary MR (motion for reconsideration) before the SB (Sandiganbayan). I will instruct my lawyers to exhaust all legal remedies,” he said.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri has said that Estrada will remain as senator despite his bribery conviction, stressing that the latter still has legal remedies available to him. —Joahna Lei Casilao/KBK, GMA Integrated News