JPE, Jinggoy to evade Tuason

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Ruby Tuason on Monday dared Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada to attend the Senate hearing on the pork barrel scam so the public will know who among them is lying.

Estrada and Enrile both said they will not attend the hearing because it serves no useful purpose.

“We challenge the two senators to attend the hearing so they could ask questions to Mrs. Tuason. They could confront them if she is telling the truth. It is about time for the public to judge who among them are telling the truth,” Levito Baligod told The Manila Times.

Tuason went to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) headquarters in Manila to add more details to her previous testimony.


There she met Benhur Luy, another state witness and the two compared notes to prepare for Thursday’s hearing, Baligod said.

“Some pictures were shown to them and they were asked by NBI agents if they know the people in the pictures,” he said.

Investigators asked Tuason and Luy some questions in preparation for the Senate hearing.

“For example, why is it that the amount of rebates are different. Mrs. Tuason said she had bigger rebates because she went directly to Mrs. Janet Napoles at the Pacific Tower,” Baligod said.

Tuason arrived in Manila from San Francisco, California last week with affidavits in which she alleged to have delivered millions of pesos in kickbacks to Enrile and Estrada.

She said she introduced the two senators to Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.

Tuason later submitted her affidavit to the Office of the Ombudsman.

Enrile and Estrada, together with Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., are respondents in the plunder case pending before the Ombudsman.

Tuason said she had dealings only with Enrile and Estrada.

Tuason refused to answer questions from reporters after she emerged from the NBI Special Task Force office, proceeding straight to her vehicle escorted by NBI agents.

Tuason has been provisionally entered in the Witness Protection Program of the Department of Justice. The Ombudsman will decide if she is qualified as state witness.

But a face-off between Tuason and Enrile at Thursday’s Senate hearing may not materialize.

Enrile told reporters on Monday he would rather face Tuason “in the court room.”

Enrile described Tuason as a “casual acquaintance” he met her when Joseph Estrada was president.

Tuason was Estrada’s social secretary.

“I knew her as Ruby Chan, I was greeting her. Then later on I found out that she was acting as a broker or buyer of property for someone,” he said.

Enrile refused to comment on Tuason’s allegations, saying he has not read the affidavit she submitted to the Ombudsman.

“I will not rely on the statement of the people. I want to see the whole text of the affidavit and what was said in the context of the affidavit. We will make a formal answer, a formal statement about it,” he said.

Tuason said she handed Enrile’s cut in the pork barrel scam to his chief of staff, Jessica “Gigi” Reyes.

Reyes would pick up the money either at her home or at restaurants. There was a time when Enrile briefly joined their meeting, Tuason said.

Enrile admitted meeting with Tuason in a restaurant, but not to collect his supposed cut.

“The only time that I met her [Tuason] is in Mamou. A very crowded restaurant and it was not to discuss the PDAF or to receive a bribe, but I was discussing with her a prospective property transaction. That was about it. In fact, I was the one who arranged that lunch,” Enrile said.

He said he brought Reyes to the meeting because he always wanted somebody to be present during discussion with anybody because of his hearing problem.

“It’s better that somebody was there to record the details of what was discussed. But that was a long time ago,” Enrile said.

Enrile said he sees no reason for Reyes to do what Tuason did and testify against him.

“I have faith in her honesty and integrity because she has been working for me for almost 25 years and there has never been any occasion that she violated that degree of rectitude expected from a public servant,” he said

In a related development Estrada on Monday asked the Senate sergeant-at-arms to release all closed-circuit television (CCTV) tapes showing Tuason’s visits to the Senate.

Tuason said Estrada would instruct her to park in the Senate basement, which is reserved only for senators to avoid a security check.

Senate President Franklin Drilon granted Estrada’s request, but asked him to be patient since the search could take some time.

To simplify the search, Estrada asked the Blue Ribbon Committee if it could ask Tuason, who is scheduled to appear before the panel on February 14, if to provide the dates of her supposed visits at the Senate.

Opposition congressmen dared Tuason to spare no one in revealing what she knows about the PDAF mess.

Jonathan de la Cruz of Abakada and Ferdinand Martin Romualdez of Leyte were reacting to Tuason’s disclosure that she used to organize parties for political bigwigs.

“If she really wants to help, she should also tell who are in her parties. Who are these high profile political leaders?” de la Cruz said in a press conference.

“Tuason is yet to back up her statements so [Justice] Secretary Leila de Lima should stop claiming that these revelations slamdunk evidence until it is proven in court. Let us avoid trial by publicity,” Romualdez said.

Elpidio Barzaga of Dasmariñas backed the call of Malacañang for those who have information about the PDAF scam to testify.

“The more confessions we have in the pork barrel scam, the more it would be easy on the part of the government to secure the conviction of those who are responsible. Once there is conviction, it would have a chilling effect on all government officials giving hope that good governance is still possible to our country,” Barzaga said in closing.

WITH REPORTS FROM LLANESCA T. PANTI AND JHOANNA BALLARAN

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8 Comments

  1. Like the sunlight is to Dracula, so Ruby Tuason is to Tanda & Sexy, and that’s the reason why they don’t want to face her on a national televised senate hearing. Creatures of the dark always hates the Light.

  2. oh barzaga ang galing mo talaga makisakay sa agos kahit alam mo na isa kari sa mga pdaf man at ganid sa salapi pls huag kang magmalinis

  3. It is clear that the man-on-the-street has already formed his opinion a long time ago about the plunder of this country.

    The senate has gradually lost much credibility over the years. At this point, it is an extreme insult to Juan and Juana’s intelligence to continue the innocent act. And that is what it is, an “act” on the tarnished screen that is not worthy of a “C” ham.

    The people support this administration’s efforts to clean up the massive graft and corruption. The exposes are now possible because President Aquino is at the helm, regardless of what his detractors continue to manufacture to discredit him.

    We know the score. At present has been the best so far for our native land. We hope to continue the trend of electing honest people after Aquino’s term.

  4. I still find it so difficult to understand how your system works or better still doesnt work. In the past you have had important people charged with serious offences but justice never seems to happen. Lets look at how things work abroad as i come from the uk. So we will assume this happened in the uk ( pork barrel scam ) we have ben hur le rescued from the condominium & is taken to the police station where detectives will interview him. Its done under caution & it is recorded on tape & on video. It is an in depth interview & further interviews will more than likely happen at other times. Then a statement is written containing all the details. The suspects are then taken to the police station & will be questioned in depth about the allegations made against them. They are not told what the person has said against them but are asked questions. Now if ruby said she went into the senate & it is videod the police would have the dates & times she went into the senate & they would check with cctv straight away. Its after gatehering evidence to support the statement that they interview the suspects but they dont tell the suspects what information they have. Here you tell the suspect everything so its now easier for them to think of some way out, by not knowing whats been said will if the person is guilty give a different answer not knowing the evidence to knowing the evidence against them. I hope ive made it clear how it works & i wish this country could get things sorted so it can start to be a better country for the poor as well as the rich & corrupt, we need them jailed & life will be better for all.

  5. joebert banderas on

    Kahit wala pa si Tuason naniniwala naman ang taong bayan na karamihan sa mga lawmakers kurakot ,makikita naman yan sa kalagayan ng ating bansa ekokompara mo lang sa ibang bansa.Yung testimony ni tuason pagpapatunay lamang na pinifiestahan nila ang tax ng taong bayan.pero hindi nila madadala ang pera ng taong bayan sa apoy na walang hanggan sa impyerno magpaparusa ang Dyos pagdating ng araw ng paghuhukom.

  6. These high profile officials who are trying to evade prosecutions no matter who testifies against them will probably denied any wrongdoings they committed, because they knew how to manipulate the law of the land.

    Unfortunately, they can invent any lies they want to project just to convince the Filipino people that they are not guilty until proven in the court of law.

    But in the court of God’s law, their soul would be the one who will testify against them. Let’s see how long they can hide from the truth.

  7. If there ever be the best time to save your soul, this the best opportunity for you to disgorge to the last centavo what you have stolen from your government since the people elected you at your present position. The people trusted you, but you let them down. You can deny all you can, and even escape conviction for lack of sufficient evidence, but you can not escape the last judgement. However, if you are clean, and not involve in corruption, then you do not have to worry about anything. God bless you.