MANILA – Former senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada Jr. on Wednesday appeared before the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to explain his side on alleged violation of enhanced community quarantine rules for distributing fish to residents in San Juan City last May 3.
In his letter to NBI Deputy Director for Investigation Service Vicente De Guzman III, Estrada said he had observed all safe physical distancing requirements and had only wanted to give aid to residents of Barangay Salapan.
“On May 3, I was given a bunch of milkfish from Zambales, my mother’s birthplace. Too many that I and my family will not be able to consume them. Considering its nature, time was of the essence to distribute them for human consumption,” Estrada said.
On May 15, the NBI sought the former senator’s explanation of the incident.
Estrada, son of former president and former Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, said he wore a face mask and had a quarantine pass when he distributed the milkfish to the residents.
He added that said he was wearing personal protective equipment and a face shield during the distribution.
He said he is just like other private citizens and organizations who want to help the poor during the pandemic.
“I do not think that helping feed the starving and poor is a violation of the law,” he said.
Estrada was arrested for holding the relief drive without a permit from the San Juan City government but was later released. (ia/PNA)