Palace defends Jinggoy for getting Duterte endorsement: He’s innocent until proven guilty!

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By Prince Golez

Malacañang finds nothing wrong with President Rodrigo Duterte endorsing the senatorial bid of former senator Jinggoy Estrada.

During a speech in Albay before barangay officials last Friday, Duterte called Estrada, a senatorial candidate in the May 13 polls, on stage and raised his right hand, an indication of his endorsement.

“Firstly, Estrada is charged with corruption but has not been convicted. The Constitution says he is presumed [innocent] until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,” spokesman Salvador Panelo told POLITIKO.

In 2014, the eldest son of former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada faced detention at the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame for allegedly pocketing P183 million in kickbacks from his pork barrel funds.

The younger Estrada was released in 2017 after he posted a bail of P1.33-million.

Panelo explained that the anti-graft court granted the ex-politiko bail on the ground that the evidence of guilt is not strong.

In defense of Duterte’s decision to support Estrada, the chief legal counsel said “every citizen has a right and therefore entitled to his personal preference on whom to vote for or endorse.”

Related story: Dapat isa lang! JV ‘surprised, puzzled’ by Duterte endorsement of Jinggoy