THE prosecution is asking the Sandiganbayan’s Fifth Division to deny former senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada’s plea for permission to travel to Hong Kong from December 26 to 31.
Estrada, who is out on bail, is facing a P183-million plunder case as well as graft cases before the court in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund or pork barrel scam.
“There is no necessity or urgency for the travel being requested. The purpose he advances is not sufficient basis to grant him permission to travel overseas. He can better spend and enjoy the holidays here,” the prosecution said in part in its Comment/Opposition, adding that celebrating the holidays in the Philippines “is more fun than anywhere else” considering the practices here.
The prosecution said that Estrada failed to indicate his itinerary for the trip and to provide a telephone number where he may be reached.
Estrada, who is running for senator in 2019, is seeking permission to travel abroad “for the family to spend the holidays together and have more time to relax and have a rest from the pressure of his everyday concerns before the campaign period,” according to the motion filed by the defense. REINA TOLENTINO