Mar 302015
The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division on Monday denied the motion for reconsideration filed by detained Sen. Jinggoy Estrada regarding the ordered attachment and freeze of his assets, in relation to his alleged involvement with the pork barrel scam.

In a five-page resolution issued Monday, the anti graft court denied Estrada’s motion which asked the court to reverse its earlier ruling to temporarily freeze P183.793 million worth of his assets pending the resolution of of his plunder and graft cases.

“As movant has not filed a counter bond and as his arguments heron are unmeritorious, there is therefore no compelling reason to lift the attachment while the main case is still pending,” the court said.

Estrada’s main argument is that his plunder and graft cases have yet to be decided. However, the Sandiganbayan said in its decision that since a writ of attachment was an ex-parte motion, a case didn’t need to be resolved for the order to freeze an accused’s assets to be valid.

“With regards to motions in general, the Rules of Court requires only that motions be heard; it does not direct the court to order the filing of comments or oppositions to the motion before the motion is resolved,” the court said.

The decision also referenced the Supreme Court in saying stopping the freeze order would be grossly unfair to the prosecution, which was well within its rights to ask for the freeze of Estrada’s assets

“On the other hand, borrowing the words of the Supreme Court, ‘allowing the discharge of the attachment at this stage of the proceedings would put in jeopardy the right of the attaching party to realise upon the relief sought and expected to be granted in the main or principal action. It would have the effect of prejudging the main case,’” the resolution said.

The Sandiganbayan earlier ordered the freeze of Estrada’s assets in February.

The amount of assets ordered to be garnished was equivalent to the amount Estrada allegedly received as kickbacks for allowing the allocation of millions of pesos from his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel to fake foundations owned by alleged scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.

Among the properties ordered frozen by the Fifth Division were seven vehicles including a Jeep Wrangler, Range Rover, Chevrolet Suburban, Nissan Homy, Honda CRV, Foton Tornado 2T and a Ford Mark III van.

Also ordered frozen are six condominium units four of which are located in San Juan City, one in Tagaytay City and another one at One Beverly Place in Quezon  City.

Meanwhile, also ordered to be temporarily frozen were a townhouse, a house, four residential lots situated in exclusive subdivisions Loyola Grand Villas and Corinthian Hills both in Quezon City, and three pieces of agricultural lands all located in Lipa City, Batangas.

More than P15 million worth of shares of stocks of Estrada, his wife Ma. Presentacion “Precy” and daughter Janella Marie in various companies.

Estrada is currently detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame for his plunder and graft cases. —NB, GMA News

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