• De Lima: Tuason has ‘slamdunk’ evidence

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    At the Office of the Ombudsman, Ruby Tuason swears to the veracity of her affidavit on Friday. Tuason was presented to Ombudsman Conchita Morales-Carpio by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.  PHOTO BY MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

    At the Office of the Ombudsman, Ruby Tuason swears to the veracity of her affidavit on Friday. Tuason was presented to Ombudsman Conchita Morales-Carpio by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.
    PHOTO BY MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

    Ruby Tuason holds the “slamdunk evidence” that will pin down Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile, who are among several lawmakers implicated in the pork barrel scam.

    Tuason, the former social secretary of former President and now Mayor Joseph Estrada of Manila on Friday submitted an affidavit to the Office of the Ombudsman where she detailed her involvement in delivering kickbacks from suspected pork barrel mastermind Janet Napoles to Estrada and Enrile.

    Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, who accompanied Tuason to the Ombudsman, said Tuason narrated in her affidavit how she delivered the commissions from pork barrel transactions to Estrada and Enrile’s chief of staff, Jessica “Gigi” Reyes.

    Tuason handed the money to Estrada in the Senate parking area, de Lima said.

    “It will be a slamdunk evidence,” she said.

    Tuason said she introduced Napoles to Estrada and Enrile in 2004.

    Estrada at first refused to meet Napoles but changed his mind when told he will be entitled to a 40- percent commission, according to Tuason.

    Tuason herself got a “referral fee” of 1.5 percent for every deal she arranged, de Lima said.

    She said Tuason’s testimony corroborates that of whistleblower Benhur Luy.

    De Lima said Tuason has been into provisionally accepted into the government’s Witness Protection Program, but the final say lies with the Ombudsman.

    She said she received feelers from Tuason’s camp in January that she wanted to turn state witness.

    A team from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) fetched Tuason from San Francisco, California, and accompanied her to the Philippine consular where she authenticated her sworn statement, de Lima said.

    Tuason pledged to return some of the money she received as her cut from deals involving the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and Malampaya fund.

    Tuason was implicated in the P900-million Malampaya fund scam where she allegedly received P242.77 million from a “still unidentified principal.”

    Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales said Tuason’s application as a witness is “conditional.”

    “I’d like to emphasize that your application for being a state witness will be conditional because we have to see to it that you do not hedge on your promise to testify for the prosecution,” Morales said.

    Before she was escorted out of the Ombudsman’s office, Tuason described her decision to testify as a “big sacrifice.”

    “It was a very big sacrifice on my part because these [defendants]are close friends of mine. It really pains me that I have to do this,” she said.

    She said she decided to tell the truth “so that I do not have to fear anything. I don’t have to hide.”

    According to her lawyer, Dennis Manalo, Tuason went through a “repeated process of reflection, recollection and discernment.”

    “She just realized that her only liberation from her anxiety, fear as well as a bothered conscience is the disclosure of the truth,” Manalo said.

    The lawyer said his client will reveal names, dates and other specific instances before the Ombudsman.

    “It may not necessarily dovetail on every single point or fact but only on the substantial portions of the evidence. In so far as the essential or material personalities are concerned, they are corroborated,” Manalo said.

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    11 Comments

    1. Why we are missing Senators Revilla, Marcos and Honasan.on Tuazon testimony. This will be the start of minimizing corruption in high places and a warning to the future perpetrator. Let us secure the gains of this administration to the incoming administration.A taxi driver i was riding with having pleasantries in Singapore just said Filipinos need s more than 2-3 more administration like Pnoy to instill the permanent improvement of our government.

    2. Sorry a correction it was not Lord Pearson but Lord Justice Leveson who was in charge of the News of the World Phone hacking Inquiry, related to the death of a school girl Milly Dowler. The News of the World being owned by Rupert Murdoch
      I have looked on line here to see the outcome. This started in 2002! Looking at Wikipedia I can not see a specific outcome to this report or recommendations!

      This is what worries me here with the Pork Barrel Inquiries. Those involved who have been found embezzling funds should stand justice who ever they are, and precise recommendations should be put in place to prevent this happening again.

      This is no more a criticism of the Philippines any more than that of the UK. It has how politicians in most places like things to happen. Kick up a huge fuss, find a fall guy, in both these cases it seems its a fall girl…in the UK case Rebekah Brooks, the chief executive of News International was sacked and seen by the police, here of course Janet Lim Napoles.

      I do see similarities. When the fuss dies done the politicians (or journalists) will emerge from under their stones and carry on as normal…Please do not let that happen here.

    3. Mrs. Ruby Tuason move is a deep calculated move, that like a battle in chess sometime they are being pawn or sacrifice to protect the King and Queen. But this moment the pawn choose not because it’s better to withdraw while not yet checkmate. It’s clear, that both sides of Estrada and Tuason having feared whose going to be jailed just in case the Justice grind. Like Enrile denying Gigi Reyes, same story with Ruby Tuason once the iron is hot, then surely they will be used as a scapegoat. Jinggoy message to Tuasons is critical, because they know, chat and spend times together during. The happy hour when these PDAF not yet so controversial. Now is already like fire that people know. So the timely coming out in the open, has only one thing, that she’d afraid that she will blame for the mess.

    4. Public officials should refrain from making catchy praises when describing something. It shows lack of seriousness in one’s pronouncement. It feels like someone trying to make what we would normally call, pogi points. It sounds like Mr. Aquino doing a similar thing when one of his Communication officials, Mr. Carandang from the sound of it, came up with the Tuwid na Daan. It sounded so good, but in the end totally worthless. It was just one more attempt at being read by the masa, like an ad for an upcoming action movie. But in fact, no substance.

    5. I am really intrigued by all of this. The whole “Pork Barrel Hearing” process is I feel critical to the future of the Philippines. To progressively move away from what has seemed to be an embedded culture of corruption.
      I am British and have now been here for over a year. What I feel is critical is that this whole process has positive results. Those involved (all of those involved) are held to account.
      What I am worried about is that this process may “run into the sand”.
      In Britain there was something similar to this, the Pearson hearings. Chaired by the law Lord Lord Pearson, extensive hearings on TV were undertaken on the activities of the Murdoch press (Sky/Fox). Hacking personal cell phones for any news had become wide spread across much of the British Press. The Police at the top level were involved. Politicians seemed cowered by the Murdoch Empire. These hearings were very far ranging but (and this worries me here) nothing came of this…I am not sure if the Pearson Report has been published…if so it will be very watered down. The press back in the UK will be back to their old tricks.
      This is what worries me here. What ever the outcome, justice must be seen to be done. If these involves major politicians so be it. Robust system must be put in place to ensure no repeat of this corruption.
      Public money paid in by taxes should only go directly to those projects to which they are allocated.

    6. i remembered jingoy said before, if manong johnny goes down, i will go down with him to hell. well, looks like both of you will get what you desired to go. let all the ax fall and just admit that playing with the devil will always bring you down to hell. time to commit harra kiri ala angelo reyes who was braved enough to do it because these two senatongs pushed him to do ti.

    7. joebert banderas on

      kahit wala c tuason naniniwala naman ang tao na karamihan sa mga lawmakers mga corrupt lalo na yung tatlo

    8. I am beginning to wonder whether the DOJ is part of a zarzuela show. Why is it that we have these issues being presented and tried at a court of public opinion? Why is it that this DOJ secretary has the notion that it is lawful to demonize first all accused before filing a case in court? What is taking the ombudsman so long to file a case in the Sandiganbayan? If they have really such a strong case, why the lengthy review of the case folders? Perhaps they only have weak evidences that is why they make a loud noise in presenting their case in the media?

    9. A couple of questions:

      Was it after the pork expose’when Jinggoy hurriedly flew to California?
      Was Tuason already there at that time?