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Smoking gun! SC allows use of AMLC report in Jinggoy’s plunder trial

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The Supreme Court (SC) has allowed the use of the Anti-Money Laundering Council’s (AMLC) report during the plunder trial of former Senator Jinggoy Estrada.

The SC has issued a ruling which junked the petition of Estrada who sought to block the AMLC report from being used against him.

Considering the AMLC looked into his bank accounts, Estrada pointed out the report violated his right to due process and right to privacy, among others.

In a resolution, the high tribunal ruled that under the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001 “the AMLC may inquire into or examine any particular deposit or investment with any banking institution or non-bank financial institution upon order of any competent court in cases of violation of this Act when it has been established that there is probable cause that the deposits or investments involved are in any way related to a money laundering offense….”

Apart from this, the SC said that Estrada’s petition is moot considering that the Sandiganbayan has granted him bail on Sept. 2017.

The SC reminded Estrada’s petition “trace their roots to the bail hearing of Estrada.”

“There is no question that whenever the issues have become moot and academic, there ceases to be any justiciable controversy, such that the resolution of the issues no longer have any practical value,” it said.

“In effect, the Court can no longer grant substantial relief to which the petitioner may be entitled. Hence, the Court should abstain from expressing its opinion in a case where no legal relief is needed or called for,” it added.

Estrada is facing plunder and 11 counts of graft before the Sandiganbayan in connection with the pork barrel scam.

Under the charges, Estrada is accused of having received from 2004 to 2012 kickbacks amounting to P183.793 million from alleged pork barrel scam queen Janet Lim Napoles by coursing his Priority Development Assistance Fund through bogus non-government organizations.