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    Posted June 30, 2014 by

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    Philippine senator declines to enter plea

    PHILIPPINE Senator Jinggoy Estrada on Monday refused to enter a plea during his arraignment before the Sandiganbayan (graft court) over his alleged involvement in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.
    Meanwhile, businesswoman Janet Napoles pleaded not guilty, duplicating what she had done when she was first arraigned with Senator Bong Revilla last week.
    It was the court who entered a not guilty plea on behalf of the lawmaker.
    "I respectfully refuse to enter a plea, your honor," Estrada told the court as he explained that they still have two pending motions to be resolved.
    These include his motion to stop the Sandiganbayan from hearing his plunder and graft cases which was filed June 24 before the Supreme Court and to invalidate the arrest warrant issued against him.
    Lead counsel Jose Flaminiano told reporters in a chance interview that they instructed their client not to enter any plea because they still have pending motions before the 5th Division chaired by Associate Justice Roland Jurado.
    Aside from Estrada and Napoles, their other co-accused in said plunder case include John Raymund de Asis and his appointment secretary Pauline Labayen.
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