First, it was Dennis Cunanan’s credibility as a witness that was put to question by the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Now, Malacañang also doubts if Ruby Tuason deserves to be in the government’s witness protection program (WPP), following reports that the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) is investigating dozens of bank accounts in her name.
The Palace on Wednesday asked the DOJ to review Tuason’s application for witness protection following reports that she has at least 80 bank accounts.
Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the government will continue to review the personalities placed under the protection program.
Coloma said the Justice department is closely coordinating with the Ombudsman on Tuason’s application.
“It is the task of the DOJ to continue to check if Tuason deserves to be included in the WPP in the face of concrete evidence,” he said.
Tuason, a former social secretary of former President and incumbent Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, was among those charged at the Office of the Ombudsman for the alleged misuse of government funds. She was provisionally accepted as a government witness after she expressed willingness to return the millions of pesos she got a pork barrel commissions.
Tuason had claimed that she delivered cash to Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Gigi Reyes, the former chief of staff of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, whose pork barrel or Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) were poured into questionable non-government organizations owned or controlled by Janet Lim-Napoles.
In a speech on Wednesday, Estrada attacked the competence of Tuason and Cunanan, the former director general of the Technology Resource Center, to testify in the government’s behalf.
The senator said Tuason owns a mansion in the United States and other parts of the country.
Estrada, who is facing a plunder complaint at the Office of the Ombudsman together with Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Ramon “Bong” Revilla, said Cunanan did not study political science in the University of the Philippines as he had claimed. He also alleged that Cunanan got kickbacks for brokering PDAF projects, citing as proof Cunanan’s mansion in White Plains, Quezon City.
“The career of Mr. Cunanan, from college to the days in public office . . . reaching up to his Blue Ribbon testimony has been founded and grounded in falsehood and misrepresentation,” he said.