MANILA (Mabuhay) – Senator Jinggoy Estrada on Monday again attempted to speak in open court, this time to seek permission to be allowed to attend the Senate inquiry on the Mamasapano clash.
But the Sandiganbayan denied the request, saying unless Estrada is a lawyer himself, all his requests should be coursed through his lawyers. Estrada is currently detained at the Philippine National Police custodial center over allegations of graft and plunder in connection with the pork barrel scam.
However, after his attendance to the bail hearing, Estrada said he wanted to be recognized to ask permission to conduct hearings and to attend the Senate inquiry on the death of 44 elite policemen in a “misencounter” on Jan. 25 with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Maguindanao.
“Although the court did not allow me to speak, what I should have said is that I would like to appeal to the court to allow me to conduct committee hearings and to allow me to attend the hearing on Wednesday at the Senate with regard to the massacre of our policemen,” he said.
“As a Senator, I really wanted to get to the bottom of this. Gusto ko malaman kung sino nag-order nung pagsugod ng ating kapulisan sa kuta ng MILF. And it is still my solemn duty as a senator to perform my duties and responsibilities even when I’m detained,” the Senator said.
Estrada added that he wanted to verbally ask permission since time was of the essence.
“Kaso ‘di naman ako pinayagan makapagsalita. And considering the time that sa Miyerkules na ‘yung hearing nung Committee on Public Order chaired by Sen. Poe, wala ng oras so I really wanted to appeal to the court,” he said.
Senator Grace Poe’s Committee on Public Order will conduct an inquiry on the incident on February 4. (MNS)