Panelo denies Duterte's hand in ex-Senator Estrada's release
President Rodrigo Duterte has no hand in the release of former Senator Jinggoy Estrada after he was allowed to post bail by the Sandiganbayan, an official said on Monday.
In a radio interview, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said Duterte never meddled in any agency under the Office of the President and the more that he would not interfere in the judiciary.
"Ever since our first Cabinet meeting... he said, 'I won't interfere. I will appoint you there (and) you do your job, but no hurt feelings if there will be problem and we will part ways'," Panelo said.
He said Duterte does not also meddle in the affairs of Congress.
The anti-graft court granted Estrada's new petition for bail last Friday, citing there was no strong evidence against him on his plunder case and that he was not a flight risk.
The granting of bail was made after Duterte, in one of his public pronouncements, questioned why Estrada and former Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. have remained in detention while other political allies of the previous administration who were also allegedly involved in the multi-billion pork barrel scam have not been charged yet. Celerina Monte/DMS