Ruby Tuason: the missing link in PDAF Scandal?
by FFE PH News Staff
Justice secretary Leila de Lima described Ruby Tuason’s testimony as ‘slam dunk evidence’ that could finally reveal the truth behind the alleged involvement of senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada in the billion-peso PDAF scam.
Ruby Tuason is a former aide of Manila mayor Joseph Estrada, and the secretary said Tuason has first-hand knowledge on the turnover of cash from ‘pork barrel queen’ Janet Lim-Napoles to the two senators. De Lima said ‘she personally delivered the money. Her testimony is more than corroborating Benhur Luy’s testimony.’
Tuason said ‘I personally know senator Jinggoy Estrada. I was social secretary of his father when he occupied the highest position of the land. I also know senator Juan Ponce Enrile.
‘On or about some time in 2004, I relayed the PDAF offer of Janet Napoles to senator Jinggoy Estrada. I also relayed the same offer to attorney Gigi Reyes, chief of staff of senator Enrile.
‘I pick up the shares of Senator Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile, the latter, thru chief of staff Atty Gigi Reyes.’
President Aquino believes that Tuason is the ‘missing link’ that could tie up the PDAF conspiracy among those involved in the scam. He added ‘[Her testimony] will help put a closure to this episode on the abuse of our country.’
Meanwhile, former president Joseph Estrada denied that Tuason was her social secretary, saying ‘She’s not my social secretary. I forgot what position she had…’ The mayor of Manila also expressed his confidence that his son, senator Jinggoy, will successfully defend his name against the allegations. He said ‘Ganyan naman talaga, sine-set up. Trial by publicity.’
Senator Jinggoy on his part said he felt betrayed for having a friend do this to him. He said ‘I am quite sad that she came out into the open without any basis at our expense, just to save her own skin…. She will surprise everyone and fabricate stories. That’s not right.’
The senator believes Tuason may just have been pressured by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Office of the Ombudsman to testify against him and denied authorising her to serve as his ‘agent’ for Janet Lim-Napoles. He added ‘The way I see it, the case against us must be so weak—because it’s all based on hearsay—that they got a witness who’s willing to testify against us just to save her neck at our expense.’
Moreover, the senator believes there is a ‘sinister’ plan to take him and senators Enrile and Ramon Revilla Junior down. All three senators denied having anything to do with the scam.
Tuason arrived in Manila from America Friday morning and was directly escorted from the airport to the NBI. She has already submitted an affidavit of her testimony to the Department of Justice, and has been qualified as a state witness, erasing the plunder charges filed against her in connection to the misuse of the Malampaya funds. She is now under the government’s Witness Protection Programme.