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Yolanda, love for grandchildren prompted Ruby Tuason to surface

Posted On 2014 Feb 14
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Senator Teofisto Guingona III, chairperson of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, presides at the hearing on the alleged pork barrel scam on Thursday (Feb. 13, 2014). Also in photo are Senate President Franklin Drilon and state witness Ruby Tuason. (MNS photo)

Senator Teofisto Guingona III, chairperson of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, presides at the hearing on the alleged pork barrel scam on Thursday (Feb. 13, 2014). Also in photo are Senate President Franklin Drilon and state witness Ruby Tuason. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – Before surfacing to be a witness in the alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam, Ruby Tuason spent days inside a church, crying and asking for forgiveness.

During the Senate blue ribbon committee on Thursday, Tuason said she felt she “was Judas Iscariot” after fleeing to the United States last year at the height of the pork barrel scam.

Araw-araw ako nasa simbahan. Humihingi ako ng tawad sa ginawa ko… Hindi pwedeng lip service lang. I had to do something,” Tuason said with a quivering voice.

“I don’t want to die with 80 million Filipinos hating me. I don’t want to die with my grandchildren hating me,” she added.

Tuason also said her resolve to surface strengthened when she saw images brought by Typhoon Yolanda, which hit parts of the Visayas and Luzon in November, killing over 6,000 and rendering thousands more homeless.

Yolanda’s devastation

“When I was in the States, I saw all these devastation. Lalo ako na-guilty. When I saw that, lalo ako nanghina. I said I have to do something about this,” said Tuason, who returned to the Philippines last week to become a witness in the scam.

Tuason detailed during the Senate inquiry how she supposedly delivered pork barrel kickbacks to Senator Jinggoy Estrada and to Gigi Reyes, former chief-of-staff of Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile.

In testifying, Tuason said she has already found peace, adding she is willing to return money she earned form the anomaly, describing it as a “small price to pay.”

“The Lord will take me”

“If I were to die, at least I can meet my Maker and say that I asked for forgiveness,” she said.

Tuason said she also prays that “the Lord will take me” if she is not granted immunity.

“It’s the truth. I would not last in jail. I would die, maybe from a heart attack,” she 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.

Tuason is being considered by the Ombudsman as a state witness, a status that will make her immune from prosecution. She has also earlier been placed under the government’s Witness Protection Program. (MNS)

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