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Why Duterte endorsed Jinggoy Estrada?

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By Prince Golez

Malacanang on Monday said former senator Jinggoy Estrada has the qualities President Rodrigo Duterte looks for in candidates to endorse for Senate.

“Based on what I heard from him when he endorses (a candidate), he said this man is honest, o honesty; this one is masipag so efficient in work,” spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

In a media briefing, Panelo pointed out that Estrada, who is eyeing a return to the Upper Chamber, has not been convicted yet of his plunder and graft cases in connection with his alleged involvement in the pork-barrel scam.

“Number one, former senator Estrada is charged with corruption and the Constitution says, unless you are convicted with final judgment, you are presumed to be innocent. So the presumption is Estrada is innocent. Number two, he has been granted bail, and the reason for the court’s grant of provisional liberty is anchored on the fact that the evidence of guilt is not strong,” Duterte’s chief legal counsel said.

“So, you cannot begrudge the President for endorsing a man who is presumed to be innocent under the law, otherwise, you are prejudging him,” according to him.

Panelo, meanwhile, said Duterte’s endorsement of Estrada will not affect the chief executive’s firm stance against corruption because the public overwhelmingly trusts him.

“The survey will tell you that the President has made many perceived to be unpopular decisions and yet his survey remains very high. In other words, the Filipino people trust this man. They are confident and believe in his judgment,” he added.

Related story:

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