Tuason says more kickbacks delivered for Enrile, Estrada than in Luy’s records
Whistleblower Ruby Tuason on Friday said she delivered more kickbacks to detained senator Juan Ponce Enrile than what star witness Benhur Luy said in his records.
Testifying at the bail hearing from plunder of accused mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles, Tuason said she delivered the kickbacks to Enrile through his chief of staff Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes, who is detained for plunder at Camp Bagong Diwa over the alleged pork barrel scam. Enrile is under hospital detention at the Philippine National Police General Hospital.
Asked about Enrile’s kickbacks, Tuason said the financial records of principal whistleblower Luy are lacking, and that she could have delivered more kickbacks for Enrile from the scam.
“It could have been more, your Honor… Some of the records of Mr. Benhur Luy is lacking,” Tuason said in the cross examination by Napoles’ lawyer Dennis Buenaventura.
In her Feb. 2014 sworn affidavit, Tuason said she delivered more kickbacks to Enrile and another accused Senator Jinggoy Estrada than what was stated in Luy’s financial ledger.
She said she knows so because she was the one who personally delivered bags of kickbacks to Estrada in his Senate office and to Reyes over lunch in restaurants.
Tuason in her affidavit added that Enrile sometimes joined them after lunch for coffee or picked up Reyes from the restaurant. Enrile and Reyes were rumored to be having an affair.
“My estimate is that I personally delivered to her more than the total amount of the above-mentioned data representing the share of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile,” Tuason said in her affidavit.
In its information against Enrile, the Ombudsman said Enrile received P172 million in commissions from his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) from 2004 to 2010.
Tuason said if Luy’s financial record is to be believed, Enrile received a relatively lesser amount of kickbacks worth P120 million.
Tuason testified as witness after Enrile’s scheduled pre-trial that was later cancelled. Enrile, Reyes, and Napoles were in the same courtroom for the pre-trial hearing. But Tuason refused to join them in the room before the scheduled Napoles’ bail hearing.
Sought for comment after the hearing, Tuason refused to give her reason why she snubbed her former friends in the alleged scam.
In exchange for her bid to become immune from suit, Tuason had returned to government P40 million in kickbacks she said she received as an agent for Estrada and Enrile.
In her testimony, she said she came up with the estimated amount of P40 million in kickbacks based on the Commission on Audit PDAF special audit report, media reports, and Luy’s records.
Tuason said she calculated the P40 million amount by adding some P34 million kickbacks from Enrile’s PDAF and some P4 million from Estrada’s.
She said she only multiplied into two Enrile’s alleged kickbacks amounting to P172 million to get the total project cost, and got 10 percent of that as her supposed commissions.
Enrile was alleged to have received 50 percent of his PDAF as kickbacks in his pork barrel projects.
Though she said she do not recall the exact amount of her commissions, Tuason has said she received five to 10 percent commissions from the lawmakers’ PDAF.
Enrile is under hospital detention and Reyes is detained at the female dormitory of Camp Bagong Diwa for their alleged involvement in the purported scheme of pilfering the senator’s PDAF to ghost projects for kickbacks. Estrada and another accused Ramon Revilla Jr. are detained at the PNP Custodial Center.
Tuason, a socialite and social secretary of former President Joseph Estrada, fled the country on Aug. 2013 and returned Feb. 2014 bothered by her conscience to turn into state witness.
Napoles is serving life sentence for the serious illegal detention of her entrusted financial officer Luy, who turned against her when he was detained over suspicions he was starting his own scam.
Tuason is also being investigated for her alleged involvement in the Malampaya fund scam, where at least P900 million in aid for storm victims were instead pilfered into the bogus foundations of Napoles. The Ombudsman has yet to give her immunity from suit.
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