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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Senate Orders Sen. Estrada Suspension

 The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division yesterday served to the Senate the suspension order against Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada which Senate President Franklin Drilon said would be immediately enforced.
Fifth Division Clerk of Court Ma. Teresa Pabulayan said that the court’s suspension order against Estrada was sent yesterday.
Pabulayan said that the court’s suspension order was supposed to have been sent last Monday when the Senate imposed the suspension against Senator Juan Ponce Enrile.
However, Pabulayan explained that a staff of the Fifth Division got ill and failed to go to the Senate.
Meanwhile, Estrada yesterday told reporters that he has no problem being suspended from office.
“In fact, kung sususpindihin nila ako (if I get suspended) I will accept it,” said Estrada, who noted it’s “just a preventive suspension for 90 days.”
“I would like also inform the Senate that I have no plans of elevating my suspension case before the Supreme Court,” he said.
Estrada only asked that Senate President Franklin Drilon not to impose the suspension on his own but by the Senate as a whole.
“Because the Senate president is not the Senate,” said Estrada who indicated that the Senate has “to decide as a collegial body.”
Estrada lamented that this was what should have been done before the Senate president imposed the suspension order against Enrile.
The legislator cited precedents at Congress where a suspension order by a court was not imposed following plenary discussions.
However, Drilon said the Senate has no recourse but to implement the 90-day preemptive suspension on Estrada ordered by court.
“Yes, we will implement it, we have no recourse but to implement it,” Drilon said.
“The decision of the Supreme Court is that the suspension becomes automatic upon motion of the prosecution, and that has been resolved as early as 2001,” he said.
Estrada’s suspension came a day after the Senate enforced the suspension order against Enrile.
Acting Minority Leader Vicente Sotto III stood up to question the suspension but Drilon asserted that this was already upheld by the Supreme Court in 2001 in the case of Santiago versus Sandiganbayan.
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