Thursday, June 26, 2014
Moving the Wheels of Justice Forward
Another high-profile indictee on PDAF scam, Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, has surrendered after the Sandiganbayan’s fifth division issued the warrant for his arrest. As it was with the first, Senator Revilla, Estrada’s surrender was NOT without fanfare at all: he surrendered to his father, and former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Ejecrcito “Erap”Estrada. Veteran counsel for Estrada, Atty. Jose Flaminiano, the same counsel who represented the elder Estrada in his plunder case in 2001, where he was convicted but got a helter-skelter pardon from former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, said Jinggoy surrendered to his father, Erap, who is a person in authority.
No doubt Erap is a person in authority. But Jinggoy surrendering to him, his father, and with whom he stood as co-accused for the same offense of plunder in 2001, though later acquitted, can hardly be mistaken as innocent, but suggests it was calculated to dramatize this otherwise nonevent, and to draw attention.
The high profile indictees seem poised to attempt to outdo one another in their plunder chronicle. Revilla, clad in shirt with a bible passage printed on it, led a 10-vehicle convoy to the Sandiganbayan for his surrender on Friday morning. He was then escorted by CIDG bigwigs Malonga and Fajardo to the PNP Custodial Center at Camp Crame after the Sandiganbayan’s First Division signed his commitment order to be detained at the PNP Custodial Center as requested in his motion.
Notably, both Revilla and Estrada had their booking rituals done at the PNP Multipurpose Hall, as if to allow a complete and comfortable coverage of this part of this saga. Clearly, the media has dramatized these events for their own interest. Incidentally, however, its willingness to do all to get coverage to air, this time, seems to have worked better in Revilla’s and Estrada’s interest, who are obviously making a campaign, on the proposition that they are being persecuted for their opposition to the administration, out of this processes to hold them accountable for grave wrongdoings.
These are early signs that these cases are going to drag past this administration, and then no one knows where they will lead after.
In the meantime, when all is said and done, one could breathe a sigh of relief, though, that the wheels of justice, no matter that it is hobbled by what many believe as chicaneries and unnecessary fanfare, move forward.