MANILA (Mabuhay) – Don’t discredit witnesses, support the government in pursuing pork barrel-related cases.
This was the message on Monday by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to Vice President Jejomar Binay after the latter described as a ‘dud’ the former’s statement that the affidavit executed by potential state witness Ruby Tuason was a ‘slam dunk evidence’ against at least two senators facing plunder charges in connection with the alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam.
The two senators – Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada – are political allies of Binay.
De Lima said that while she respected Binay’s opinion, the vice president should also “inspire, encourage, and support” government investigators and prosecutors in pinning down the suspects in the fund mess.
“Nakakalungkot lang in that instead of encouraging us to further strengthen evidence, encourage us to pursue what we are doing now, eh parang minamaliit nila, bine-belittle or they’re even scoffing at our evidence,” De Lima told reporters.
De Lima said Filipinos, especially those in government, should be praying and hoping that people behind the controversy are held liable for their crimes.
Last week, Tuason returned to the Philippines from the US after five months and executed a sworn statement implicating Enrile and Estrada, saying she had personally handed them their kickbacks in the misuse of Priority Development Assistance Funds.
Tuason once served as former President now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada’s social secretary. The elder Estrada, Binay and Enrile are among the leaders of the the opposition party, United Nationalist Alliance. (MNS)