Former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada again asserted his innocence as he attended his first public mass since release following more than three years in detention over his alleged involvement in the “pork barrel” scam.
Speaking before parishioners, Estrada insisted his innocence and said he leaves it up to God to decide on the fate of those who accused him.
“The Lord will take care of them… I didn’t do anything wrong,” he said in Filipino.
Estrada, with his family, friends and supporters heard mass at the Pinaglabanan Church in the family’s bailiwick San Juan Saturday afternoon.
It was his second stop after having a family lunch at a Chinese restaurant in Greenhills.
Music and dancing met the former senator and his family as around 100 supporters welcomed them at church grounds.
Local officials and family friends were also present.
During the mass, presiding priest Fr. Larry Faraon called on attendees to pray for the acquittal of the former Senator, who was detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City for more than 3 years before his release.
“We’ll pray for the final acquittal of Sen. Jinggoy,” he said.
The former senator is accused of pocketing PhP183 million (US$3,565,515.27) in kickbacks out of his pork barrel disbursements that went to fake projects, purportedly with help from alleged scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles.
Earlier, Estrada made the assurance that he would “religiously attend” hearings of his cases at the Sandiganbayan.
“I’m a free man already, but I will religiously attend the hearings of my plunder case,” he said.
Estrada was released past 1 p.m. Saturday after posting a PhP1.33-million (US$25,913.31) bail for plunder and graft charges.
Story: ABS-CBN News