Fans, friends celebrate 'freedom' of Jinggoy Estrada
MANILA, Philippines – Fans and friends of former senator Jinggoy Estrada gathered in Camp Crame on Saturday, September 16, to celebrate the decision of the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan to grant him temporary liberty after 3 years in detention.
Rebecca Macapagal was among the dozen members of the Team Jinggoy support group outside the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center. She told reporters that she could not sleep out of excitement after she heard that Estrada was going to be released. (READ: Jinggoy Estrada posts bail)
"Ay sobra-sobra po hindi ako nakatulog. Wala pa po akong tulog mula kahapon para akong naka-high (I am so, so happy I was not able to sleep. I have not slept ever since yesterday, it's like I'm on a high)," Macapagal told reporters.
She said during the 3 years that Estrada was detained, she hoped and prayed that he would get out.
"Thank you po kay Lord at sinagot niya lahat ng dasal namin. Lahat po ng simbahan pinuntahan namin para lang po sa kanya (Thank Lord that our prayers were answered. We prayed in all churchers just for him)," Macapagal added.
For another fan and supporter who refused to be named, she said Estrada's release is proof that justice was indeed being served.
"Ngayon po, mapapatunayan nang wala po talaga siyang kasalanan (It will now be proven that he is innocent)," the supporter said, while waving a Team Jinggoy shirt to cover her identity.
Supporters of Jinggoy Estrada have gathered in front of the PNP Custodial Center waving shirts that say "TEAM JINGGOY" pic.twitter.com/IXICoTHYsv— Rambo Talabong (@rambotalabong) September 16, 2017
Asked what she would do when she finally sees the former senator, she said, "Hahalikan po namin (We will kiss him)."
Jojo Cruz, a longtime Estrada supporter, said he would simply give him a hug and support Estrada wherever he goes.
He had been friends with Estrada ever since they were children, he said.
"Kababata ko siya. Nakasama ko siya basketball so ever since, nakatulong namin (He was my childhood friend, I played basketball with him. We supported him ever since)," Cruz told Rappler.
Cruz said while the bail grant would just give Estrada temporary freedom as he has not been acquitted of the charges against him, he was still happy that Estrada would be leave Camp Crame.
"Siyempre nalungkot kami. Knakasuhan siya nang wala namang pruweba. Wala namang dahilan. Siyempre kami hindi kami sanay na ganoon. [Pero] siyempre ngayon natutuwa na kami kasi kahit papaano inano 'yung bail niya, makakalaya na siya. Susuportahan siya kung anuman ang gusto niyang mangyari," he added.
(We were saddened that he still has cases without proof or reason. We're not used to it. [But] of course now, we are happy that, in a way through his bail, he can be free. We will support him whatever happens.)
The supporters, however, were not able to get close to Estrada when he left the PNP Custodial Center past noontime because of the media frenzy. Estrada officially gained temporary freedom past 1 pm.
The former senator would have a thanksgiving mass in Pinaglabanan Church in San Juan that afternoon, which his supporters said they would attend. – Rappler.com