Who to bar from leaving, 'Jose' or 'Jinggoy' Estrada?
MANILA, Philippines – If you were an immigration officer, would you bar Jinggoy Estrada from leaving when he presents you his passport? After all, the senator, charged with plunder for the illegal diversion of his discretionary development fund, is the subject of a hold departure order (HDO).
The problem is, the name on the HDO issued by the anti-graft court doesn't match the one on his passport. The order barring him from leaving uses the senator's real name, Jose P. Ejercito Estrada; the passport – reportedly – only bears "Jinggoy Estrada."
Citing "reliable information" that the senator's passport only bears the nickname he is more widely known by, prosecutors from the Office of the Ombudsman filed a manifestation before the Sandiganbayan on Tuesday, June 17, to insert Estrada nickname as well in the HDO.
The HDO, they said, should bear the name "Jose 'Jinggoy' P. Estrada" instead "to avoid confusion."
The manifestation was signed by Prosecution Bureau II Acting Director Danilo Lopez, assistant special prosecutors Christina Marallag-Batacan, Anna Isabel Aurellano, and Peter Jedd Boco.
The Sandiganbayan 5th Division issued on Monday, the hold departure order Estrada, preventing him from traveling abroad to escape prosecution.
The order also covered alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles and 12 other co-accused in Estrada's plunder and graft cases.
Estrada's cases will be heard by the Sandiganbayan's 5th Division, chaired by Justice Roland Jurado.
The pork barrel scam involves channeling lawmakers' Priority Development Asistance Fund to the bogus non-governmental organizations controlled by Napoles. The funds were coursed through implementing agencies, to which lawmakers allegedly endorsed the NGOs in exchange for kickbacks from Napoles. – Rappler.com