MANILA (Mabuhay) – Potential state witness Ruby Tuason on Thursday detailed before the Senate blue ribbon committee her alleged transactions with Senator Jinggoy Estrada, involving millions in pork barrel funds.
In delivering the Estrada’s share, she said she would pass through the Senate basement to avoid inspection, and would usually be met by a member of Estrada’s staff before proceeding to his office.
Tuason said that her dealings with Estrada began in 2004 when she personally delivered P5.7 million to his residence in Greenhills in San Juan City.
However, she added that this transaction was canceled, with Senator Estrada saying, “Huwag na lang.”
Tuason said the first full transaction with Estrada happened on December 3, 2007, with the senator receiving P25 million in commission from his pork barrel funds allocated to the Technology and Livelihood Resource Center (TLRC).
Also, she said she delivered bagfuls of money to Estrada’s Senate office, but could not recall the exact amounts.
“Mabigat ‘yung pera. I used a hand carry bag, ‘yung may gulong. If the amount is small, like P1 million or P2 million, kasya in my bag. That will fit in my bag. If it’s bigger than that, we need a big bag,” Tuason said.
In her affidavit submitted to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Tuason admitted to personally delivering kickbacks to Estrada and Gigi Reyes, former chief-of-staff of Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile.
Estrada had earlier denied receiving money from Tuason, even saying that the latter’s affidavit was fabricated to pin him down on the plunder charges.
“Walang specifics. There were no dates…Sabi niya binigyan niya ako ng P35 million. Ilang kilos iyon? Madadala niya ba iyon?” Estrada said on Tuesday.
He further said that the figures of the alleged kickbacks given to him were “jacked up.”
“The reason why Mrs. Tuason and Benhur Luy met [on Monday] was to, of course, tally the figures. Dahil hindi alam kung magkano raw ang binigay sa akin. So ijajack up na nila iyon to reach the threshold for plunder,” Estrada said.
Tuason, Enrile, Estrada and Reyes are all facing plunder raps before the Office of the Ombudsman for their alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam, supposedly engineered by detained businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles. (MNS)