Thursday, April 27, 2006
ERAP-LACSON: willing to testify in Spy Case....Former Philippine President Joseph Estrada says he will consult with his legal panel on the allegations raised against him by a Federal Prosecutor in New Jersey in a court hearing. Monday, reports reaching manila said Assistant U.S. Attorney Karl Buch, for the first time publicly named; Estrada and two others, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, and former Speaker Arnufo Funtebella.
Prosecutor Buch ; alleged the three were recipients of information taken from the FBI .
In the case Senior U.S. District Judge William Walls before in a espionage case filed versus a Filipino American FBI Analyst and a ex-Philippine Police officer Michael Ray Aquino last year.
Estrada, currently is facing a mountain of legal problems and has been jailed for the last five years said, “I have not seen the charge sheet- I will speak to my lawyers first”.
He did admit to having read what he says were “Media reports” sent to him, as well as other information he called “not sensitive - nor secret” as public reports from the US Embassy in Manila.” During his communication with the two accused men in the case.
Estrada, is right to assume it may lead another case thrown his way on top of numerous charges already he faces in the Philippines.
Currently Estrada and two others are not a defendants in the case filed versus a former FBI Analyst Lean Arragoncillo and Michael Ray Aquino.
Former Senator Panfilo Lacson was less guarded in his reaction calling the case “flimsy” and that he only got emails from Aquino and nothing ever from Arragoncillo.
He has openly said He will be willing to speak on the side of truth and say what he knows about the emails he received. “They were only news reports! Clippings, nothing fancy and defiantly not secret.”
However an ominous note in the case at bar was the Judges statement “The judge said the former president is living under house arrest on corruption charges. He said the odds were slim that any of the prospective witnesses would risk arrest in the United States.”
Which hints the three named persons could still be formally charged in the US case against the two men in New Jersey
Case still moving…