SEN. Antonio Trillanes 4th believes that Ruby Tuason does not deserve to be a state witness because she is withholding information that could prove damaging to Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile.
Trillanes said Tuason may not be telling everything because she wants to save Enrile from being indicted for plunder.
He also suspects that Tuason’s lawyer, Dennis Manalo, could be involved in the withholding of information because Manalo worked at the Siguion-Reyna, Montecillo and Ongsiako law firm.
The law firm was founded by the husband of Enrile’s half-sister Armida Siguion-Reyna.
Trillanes cited inconsistencies in Tuason’s statements, such as her admission that she asked for financial assistance from Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada while she was in the United States. However, she told the Senate blue ribbon committee she is willing to return the P40 million in commissions she received from the pork barrel scam.
Trillanes said although the testimony of Tuason regarding her transactions with Senator Estrada was “telling,” it does not qualify her as a state witness because the information she provided on Enrile is insufficient.
“She is claiming that she is doing this for the sake of the country and if that is the case she should prove it by telling everything,” Trillanes said in a radio interview aired over DZBB.
He said the Department of Justice (DOJ) should pursue the charges against Tuason.
Trillanes noted that the complaints filed against several lawmakers and personalities at the Office of the Ombudsman can stand even without Tuason’s testimony.
He said Tuason is not an important witness because most of the information she provided was based on the affidavit of Benhur Luy.
Tuason had admitted delivering cash commissions to Estrada. But she said she did not personally transact business with Enrile, and that it was the senator’s former chief-of-staff, Gigi Reyes, who received the pork commissions.
Tuason told the Senate hearing that she could not say for sure if Enrile was aware of the transactions between her and Reyes because while Enrile sometimes joined them in their meeting, they did not talk or mention anything about the pork barrel.
Sen. Miriam Santiago had also accused Tuason of protecting Enrile. But she said the senator’s presence at the meetings of Tuason and Reyes is enough to prove conspiracy.
“The mere presence of Senator Enrile, even if he did not say anything, establishes that he was a conspirator in the scam,” Santiago said.