NOT all who come forward to testify on the pork barrel scam will be taken in as state witnesses, according to Malacañang.
They will have to be screened by the justice department and their testimony scrutinized, Deputy Presidential Spokesman Abigail Valte said.
“The informants will be screened by the Department of Justice. Secretary Leila de Lima already made it clear that not everybody who volunteers [information on the case]will be enlisted as a witness. They will scrutinize the testimony and evaluate whether the information has an impact on the case filed before the Office of the Ombudsman,” Valte said in a radio interview.
At least two of the 38 people facing plunder and graft-related complaints in connection with the pork barrel scam have been provisionally accepted as state witnesses—Ruby Tuason, the former aide of former president Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada, and Dennis Cunanan, former chief of the state-run Technology Livelihood Resource Center.
“As Secretary de Lima said, the justice department won’t have any reason to enlist somebody as a government witness if the testimony won’t add up to the merits of the existing ones,” Valte said.
She added that the government would not interfere in the investigation even if Cunanan implicated Director General Joel Villanueva of the Technical and Skills Development Authority in the illegal use of the lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
“What we want is to find out the truth. The truth will be our evidence. Secretary Villanueva already said that he is willing to face investigation about this,” Valte said.
In his sworn statement, Cunanan claimed that senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jose “Jinggoy’ Estrada and Ramon “Bong” Revilla knew that their PDAF was released to questionable non-government organizations.