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Privilege Speech of Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, January 24, 2007

Posted: August 6th, 2008 @ 2:19am

I beg your indulgence, but I must once again stand and invoke my personal privilege as a senator and member of this august Chamber on an important matter which, I hope, you can also collectively identify with.

This morning, I was informed by my office and by the media that Governor Chavit Singson arrived at the premises of the Senate to allegedly pay a courtesy visit to the senators and to confront me about the privilege speech that I delivered last Monday (January 22, 2007).

Unfortunately, I was not at my office at the time when he arrived so we were not able to confront each other.

I learned, however, from the media that Governor Singson was visibly irritated and protesting about my privilege speech, wherein I mentioned that he has nine plunder and graft and corruption cases pending before the Ombudsman which, up to now, have not been acted upon by the Ombudsgirl, who is so trigger-happy in suspending and dismissing from the service local government officials, such as Governor Niel Tupas, who is known to be sympathetic to the opposition or is critical of Mrs. Arroyo and her minions.

I highlighted the nine plunder and graft and Corruption cases against Governor Singson to show that he is the most sacred of all the sacred cows of Malacañang. I enumerated these cases to prove that Governor Singson is virtually untouchable under this corrupt, oppressive and illegitimate regime of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Chavit Singson can commit any high crime in broad daylight, even under the noses of the authorities. He can rape and raid several times the treasury of Ilocos Sur, and I am sure that Mrs. Arroyo will not lift a single finger against him.

The media also informed me that Governor Singson has been conducting a disinformation campaign, as early as last year, to brainwash people into believing that there are no pending cases against him before the Ombudsman.

I was also told that Governor Singson has been circulating in the media, and in social and official gatherings, a certain document that purportedly states that the branch office of the Commission on Audit in Ilocos Sur has not filed any single case against him.

After what happened to Atty. Agustin Chan, the COA Auditor, who was murdered for being brave enough to demand from Governor Singson the immediate liquidation of his P180.6 million cash advances, who in COA would dare to file a case against him?

Who in the branch office of the Commission on Audit in Ilocos Sur, which is housed in the provincial capitol building in Vigan City, would be brave enough to initiate a case against aknown warlord governor?

To my knowledge, the murder case of the late Atty. Agustin Chan, the slain COA auditor, remains unsolved up to now.

I am not inventing stories when I disclosed in my privilege speech that Governor Singson has nine plunder and graft and corruption cases pending before the Ombudsman. I have conclusive evidence in my possession.

My proof are the letters Written by ombudsman Special Prosecutor Dennis M. Villa-Ignacio. The first one is dated November 30, 2006, which is addressed to this Representation. The second one is dated December 19, 2006, which is addressed to Sen. Franklin M. Drilon. Both letters pertain to the latest status of the nine plunder and graft and corruption cases against Chavit Singson pending before the Ombudsman.

In his letter of November 30,2006 addressed to this Representation, Special Prosecutor Dennis M. Villa-Ignacio wrote:

Dear Sir:

This is in compliance with the commitment of the undersigned to the honorable senator to submit a status report on the pending cases against Mr. Luis “Chavit” Singson with this office. The undersigned has attached herewith the aforesaid report for his honor’s information and reference.

Very truly yours,
Special Prosecutor

Attached to this letter is a list of the nine plunder and graft and corruption cases against Governor Singson and their latest status. Among the cases are the following:

1. CASE NO. 01-0923, which pertains to the ghost purchase of a backhoe worth P9.5 million. This case, like most of his other cases, has been pending with the Ombudsman since 2001.

2. CASE NO. 02-0008-A, which is about the overpriced purchase of a parcel of land in the town of Santa, Ilocos Sur, supposedly worth P26 million. The seller of the land is a lowly clerical employee of Governor Singson. What is ironic is that after the alleged sale of his land for P26 million, he still remains a lowly clerical employee up to this day.

3. CASE NO. 0-01-0989, which is a plunder case pertaining to the awards made by the provincial government of Ilocos Sur under Chavit Singson of several rigged contracts. This resulted in the suspension by the Commission on Audit of the amount of P597 million and the disallowance of the amount of P153 million.

4. CASE NO. C-C-02-0343-F, regarding Governor Singson’s unliquidated cash advances in the total amount of P180.6 million. This case was the subject of the demand letter sent to Chavit Singson by the murdered COA Auditor, Atty. Agustin Chan.

Based on COA records, Mr. Singson recently attempted to liquidate the huge cash advances of P180.6 million by submitting spurious documents showing that he donated these funds to bogus NGOs and inexistent cooperatives, and even to the National Tobacco Administration.

Fortunately, the COA saw through his scheme and promptly questioned his liquidation by requiring him to submit supporting documents. To my knowledge, Mr. Singson has not yet submitted the required supporting documents up to now.

5. CASE NO. C-C-02-0773-K, which pertains to Governor Singson’s failure to declare in his Statement of Assets and Liabilities his ownership of the 80-foot luxury boat named Escaler.

6. CASE NO. C-C-O833-L, which is about the malversation of provincial funds amounting to P26 million, which has been released and paid to Multi-line Food Processing Plant International, Inc., a dummy corporation of Governor Chavit Singson.

7. CASE NO. 0-01-0974, which is about the unexplained P30 million balance on the alleged misappropriated tobacco excise tax proceeds which Governor Singson has admittedly stolen. This amount is not covered by his immunity as the star witness in the trumped up plunder case against President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, but the Ombudsman has been sleeping on this case.

I will be circulating copies of the letters of Special Prosecutor Villa-Ignacio to the public and to the media to show and emphasize that Chavit Singson has been lying through his teeth. And nobody should believe him anymore because he has not a single ounce of credibility whatsoever.

Even the United States magistrate, Judge Lawence R. Leavitt of the United States District Court, District of Nevada, declared in his order, dated November 15, 2002, in the matter of the extradition of Charlie “Atong” Ang that Chavit Singson is a “demonstrably corrupt governor of a Philippine province.”

The lack of credibility of Governor Singson is made more apparent by the election of my mother, Dr. Loi Ejercito Estrada, in the 2001 senatorial elections, a few months after the coup d’ etat hatched and carried out by Mrs. Arroyo and her minions against President Joseph Ejercito Estrada. This is a tacit rejection by the Filipino people of the brazen lies being peddled by Governor Singson against my father, my mother, this Representation and my entire family.

This unmistakable rejection of the lies of Governor Singson was repeated in 2004 when the Filipino people elected me to the Philippine Senate.

Kung ang sambayanang Pilipino ay naniniwala na kami pa ay masasamang tao, na magnanakaw pa kami, na kami ay nagkasala sa sambayunung Pilipino,, hindi na po sana nanalo noong 2001 ang aking ina bilang senador. At noong 2004, hindi pa dapat aka nanalo bilang senador kung totoo ang mga sinasabi ng corrupt na gobernador ng Ilocos Sur, walang iba kundi si Governor Chavit Singson.

Hinahamon ko pa si Gobernador Singson na kumandidato bilang senador at hayaan ang sambayanang Pilipino nu humatol sa kanya.

So, I dare and challenge Governor Singson to run for the Senate and be judged by the Filipino people.

Wala naman pong makakapigil kay Gobernador Singson kung gusto niyang tumakbo para senador. Kahit pa sino puwedeng turnakbo, kahit siya ay kilalang magnanakaw. mandarambong, sinungaling, mamamatay-tao, warlord or jueteng lord, at kahit sino pa man siya. Malaya siyang tumakbo para sa Senado.

Nguni’t sa palagay ko po ay hindi naman mananalo si Gobernador Singson kung tatakbo siya sa pagka-senador sapagkat bistado na ng taong-bayan ang tunay niyang pagkatao.

Ang pamilya Estrada ay patuloy na nagtatugumpay sa larangan ng pulitika at tinutungkilik ng mamumayang Pilipino dahil hindi pa kami naiuugnay sa mga malalagim na patayua. Wala pa kaming history na kami pa ay nagpapatay o pumatay ng tao. Hindi katulad ng iba diyan na kilalang berdugo ng kanilang probinsya.

The truth is, the selective sense of justice of the Arroyo administration and the Ombudsman, when it comes to the suspension and dismissal of local government officials is being highlighted.

Chavit Singson's cases involving the plunder or malversation of hundreds of millions pesos, which have not been moving for many years in the Ombudsman, in contrast with the case of Governor Niel Tupas which involved only P86,000, is a huge embarrassment to him and to this regime. And that is why be isreacting.

I also take offense over the malicious and unfair insults hurled against me this morning by Governor Chavit Singson during his media interview. He said that I do not know anything about the law and the law-making process.

He also had the temerity to say that I have no business being in the Senate.

Ginoong Pangulo, ayaw ko po sanang magbuhat ng sarili kong bangko pero hindi ko pa maaaring palampasin ang ganitong uri ng pang-iinsulto. Malinaw po ang service and accomplishment record ng inyong lingkod.

As chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment, and Human Resources Development, I have successfully authored and sponsored into law the bill strengthening the National Labor Relations Commission.

I have submitted six committee reports and authored and/or sponsored two bills which were approved by the Senate on Third Reading. There are also three bills submitted by my Committee that are now pending approval on Second Reading.

I have a perfect attendance in the sessions of the Senate, and I have never been tardy or late in any session.

Sana naman pa ay nag-research muna si Gobernador Singson bago niya minaliit ang inyong lingkod.

Iyang rnga bagay na binanggit ko ngayon ang magpapatunay kung sino ang nagsasabi ng totoo at kung sino ang sinungaling.



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Copyright © 2008 Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada

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