Sen. Estrada: Tuason also visited other senators to ask for projects
MANILA, Philippines— Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada disclosed on Tuesday that Ruby Tuason had been visiting at the Senate other incumbent and former senators, aside from him and Senator Juan Ponce-Enrile, asking for projects.
Estrada made this disclosure when he came face to face with Senator Teofisto Guingona III on the floor over the latter’s “three point shot” remark on Tuason’s testimony .
Estrada, Enrile, and Tuason are all facing plunder charges at the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the P10 billion pork barrel scam. But Tuason turned against her co-accused and agreed to testify against them.
In her testimony before the Senate blue ribbon committee last week, Tuason detailed how she had allegedly personally handed “commissions” to Estrada in his office in the Senate and residence in San Juan as well Enrile’s shares through his former chief of staff, Jessica “Gigi” Reyes.
But Estrada wondered why he and Enrile were the only senators mentioned by Tuason.
“In fact, Mr. President , I’m really surprised why she only mentioned me and Atty Gigi Reyes in her affidavit. She has a lot of senator-friends na pinupuntahan din nyan, may hinihingian din nya ng mga proyekto…,” Estrada said when he interpellated Guingona.
“Why didn’t you even bother to ask her sino ang mga pinupuntahan nya aside from the office of Enrile and my office? Sino pa ang mga ibang senador na pinupuntahan nya dito sa Senado? Why didn’t you bother to ask her?” he further asked.
But Guingona, chairman of the committee, said they asked Tuason the question but the latter just issued a denial.
“The issue here is she lying or not? Because I have received information and I can support that she had been asking our colleagues here , former colleagues… for projects at inilalako din nya yan. O bakit hindi nyo tinanong yan? Bakit kaming dalawa lang ni Enrile ang napapahamak dito sa kanyang testimonya?” Estrada asked.
Guingona said Estrada’s questions should be answered by Tuason herself.
“The issue here is she lying or not…? What’s happening here is that you already prejudged us, especially me…” Estrada said.
At that point, Senate President Franklin Drilon moved to suspend the session. Guingona had earlier denied prejudging Estrada.
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