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Jinggoy Estrada refuses to enter plea.

Byline: Tetch Torres-Tupas

MANILA -- Senator Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada on Monday refused to enter a plea on allegations of plunder on his involvement in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.

As always, the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division entered a plea of not guilty on Estrada's behalf.

In explaining why he opted not to enter a plea, Estrada said he has a pending petition before the Supreme Court questioning the Ombudsman's decision charging him with plunder and 11 counts of violation of the Anti-Graft Law.

"I have a pending petition at the Supreme Court...The Ombudsman committed grave abuse of discretion," Estrada told the Anti-Graft Court during his arraignment.

On 11 counts of graft, Estrada also refused to enter a plea.

Meanwhile, Napoles pleaded not guilty.

Six other co-accused of Estrada were arraigned Monday and they also refused to enter a plea so the court entered "not guilty plea" on their behalf.

They are:

Mario Relampagos-11 counts of graft

Rosario Salamida Nunez-11 counts of graft

Lalaine Narag Paule-11 counts of graft

Mariou Dialino Bare-11 counts of graft

Victor Cacal-5 counts of graft

Rhodora Mendoza-5 counts of graft

Those who entered not guilty plea are:

Janet Lim-Napoles-11 counts of graft

Marie Nunez Guanizo-four counts of graft

Romeo Relevo-two counts of graft

Francisco Figura-one count of graft

Rosalinda Lacsamana - one count of graft

Marivic Jover - 1 count of graft

Gondelina Amata - five counts of graft

Gregoria Buenaventura - 6ive counts of graft

Evelyn Sucgang - five counts of graft

Estrada, together with his former staff Pauline Labayen, alleged mastermind Napoles and Napoles' 'errand boy' Richard De Asis are facing P183-million plunder charge.

Like Estrada, Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. also refused to enter a plea on plunder on his alleged involvement in the PDAF scam.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Jun 30, 2014
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