A Filipino-American group has asked the Office of the Ombudsman to file a motion seeking the revocation of the approval of former senator Jinggoy Estrada’s trip to United States.
In a letter dated April 9, the U.S. Pinoys for Good Governance (USPGG) clarified that they did not invite Estrada to speak before its members in Michigan next month.
“There was no invitation from the U.S. Pinoys for Good Governance,” the USPGG stressed in the letter.
“We therefore urge Ombudsman prosecutors to file a motion to revoke the Sandiganbayan’s approval of Sen. Estrada’s motion to travel to the United States,” the group added.
Last month, the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division approved Estrada’s motion to travel to the United States from April 30 to May 30 for a speaking engagement despite a pending plunder case against him.
In his motion, Estrada said he was invited by USPGG to speak before the Filipino-American advocates in a event to be held in Sterling Heights, Michigan on May 20, 2018. Attached in his motion is an invitation letter signed by USPGG Michigan chair William Dechavez.
“Our members would like to know the latest development in the Philippines, particularly those pertaining to the issues over extrajudicial killings, Dengvaxia mess and federalism plan,” the invitation read.
“We know that you are in the thick of all these developments, and we are certain you can discuss the said issues thoroughly and accurately,” it added.
While in U.S., the senator will also have a medical consultation for his “recurring orthopedic shoulder problem.”
But the organization clarified that the invitation to Estrada was a certain Tony Antonio, who is also supposed close friend of the senator.
They explained that Antonio had asked if he could use USPGG to invite Estrada but Dechavez told him that “he could only use his name as an individual but NOT the organization, as he would need to clear it with his members, and he was in Sorsogon.”
“But apparently, that did not deter Mr. Antonio from preparing an invitation to Sen. Estrada on official USPGG stationary with the forged signature of Mr. Dechavez. This unauthorized letter was used as the primary exhibit attached to the motion of Sen. Estrada for leave to visit the United States,” the organization said.
Estrada is facing plunder and graft charges in connection with the alleged misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) during his term as a senator. (AJPress)