MANILA (Mabuhay) – Actor Mat Ranillo III, who has been tagged as having an alleged role in the pork barrel scam, is willing to return to the country and testify on the plunder case, according to his sister Suzette.
“Mat is willing to come home naman as long as protektado ang safety niya,” Suzette said.
Ranillo, who had played Christ and San Lorenzo Ruiz in the movies, has been linked to the pork barrel scam for allegedly signing vouchers for the kickbacks supposedly received by Senator Jinggoy Estrada and his mother, former First Lady and Senator Loi Estrada. Ranillo was mentioned again on national TV by whistleblower Ruby Tuason during her testimony on Thursday.
Some of the vouchers were submitted in court by Ranillo in his legal dispute against JLN Corporation, a company owned by alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
Earlier, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said she was told the justice department has received feelers from Ranillo but refused to give other details.
“Naririnig ko rin na parang may feelers from Mr. Mat Ranillo so we would welcome that. Let’s see kung ano iyong magiging value ng kanyang testimony if and when he cooperates,” De Lima said.
However, the legal counsel for the whistleblowers in the P10-billion pork barrel fund scam is not in favor of making actor Ranillo a state witness, saying it is unlikely that the actor had personal transactions with the senators implicated in the scam.
“Ang pupuwede sa kanya ay isang ordinary witness. Ang tingin ko kay Mr. Matt Ranillo ay hindi niya kayang i-divulge yung mga naging transactions niya involving legislators implicated,” lawyer Levito Baligod said.
Baligod added waiting for Ranillo’s affidavit on the scam might only delay the investigation of the Office of the Ombudsman.
More than 30 people, including former and incumbent government officials, are facing graft complaints before the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the pork barrel scam.
Among the respondents are Senators Jinggoy Estrada, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Juan Ponce Enrile. Detained businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles and Ruby Tuason, the latest whistleblower, are also respondents in the complaints. (MNS)