MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan stood by its decision to grant bail to former Senator Jinggoy Estrada, rejecting for lack of merit the Office of the Ombudsman’s appeal to reverse its earlier ruling.
Estrada is being tried for plunder and graft for his alleged participation in the pork barrel scam, in which lawmakers supposedly conspired with businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles to funnel off as much as P10 billion from their priority assistance development fund to bogus nongovernmental organizations and projects.
He was released in mid-September after posting bail of P1.33 million.
The four-page ruling of the Sandiganbayan’s Special Fifth Division called its earlier decision “in order” and pointed out that the prosecution had failed to present sufficient evidence to prove conspiracy and the mastermind’s identity, as well as who benefited from the alleged plunder.
It also said the prosecution had no new argument for why it should reverse its earlier decision.