Estrada bares alleged ‘shady dealings’ of Cunanan, Tuason
Video by RYAN LEAGOGO/INQUIRER.net
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada took the floor on Wednesday to expose what he described as “dubious backgrounds and “shady dealings” of two government witnesses in the P10-billion “pork barrel” funds scam.
In a privilege speech entitled, “The tale of two incredible witnesses,” Estrada revealed that Ruby Tuason was said to have received P242-million kickbacks from the Malampaya funds, and Dennis Cunanan, director general on-leave of the Resource Technology Center (RTC), had allegedly travelled more or less 80 times in 10 years.
Estrada, Tuason and Cunanan were all charged at the Office of the Ombudsman over the scam, but Tuason and Cunanan later decided to turn against the senator.
“I rise today, Mr. President, to expose and bring to the public’s attention the questionable character of this latest witness of the DOJ (Department of Justice), Mr. Dennis Cunanan as well as Mrs. Ruby Tuason, to alert us of their dubious backgrounds and shady dealings,” Estrada said.
“It may be instructive for the DOJ so that it may redeem itself from sloppy and amateurish investigation of the witnesses it presents in support of what it proclaims as its supposed air-tight case.”
Estrada started with Cunanan, who he said should have been held in contempt for “lying over and over and over again under oath” before the Senate blue ribbon committee, which has been investigating the scam.
The senator first questioned Cunanan’s claim when he testified in the Senate that he was just renting a house in White Plains in Quezon City from his brother, Darius.
Based on documents that he obtained, Estrada said, Darius bought the property in 2007 at P12 million when his income from his own business was only around P104, 668.98.
“P104,000 lang ang kita tapos kayang bumili ng bahay na worth P12 million. Imposible po ata,” said the senator.
And contrary to Cunanan’s claim that the house was loaned from the bank, Estrada said the property was paid in cash.
Estrada said the loan that Cunanan was referring to in August 2007 was for the family’s trading company named “Magalang Ciudad Enterprises Inc., in which the TRC chief was said to be the majority share holder.
The house, he said, was only used as the collateral of the loan.
“Given all these facts, is Darius Cunanan or Dennis Cunanan the real owner of the White Plains property? You can make your own conclusion,” said the senator.
When Cunanan was presidential assistant for youth affairs during the time of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Estrada said, the TRC head was able to get a cash advance of P6.4 million in 2004.
Until now since 2004, he said, Cunanan still has an outstanding and unliquidated cash advance of P4.6 million.
“Ano Kaya ang ginawa nya sa cash advance na ito? Idinagdag sa pinambili ng bahay sa White Plains?” asked the senator.
Estrada also claimed that even before Cunanan testified on the scam, he already heard about him being a “jet-setter.”
“Thus, I requested the Bureau of Immigration for information on his travels. And lo and behold, ginagawa pong Quiapo ni Cunanan, ng kanyang asawa pati ng kanilang mga anak, ang Amerika, Europa, mga bansa sa Asya tulad ng Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Korea at iba pang lugar.”
Based on records, Estrada said Cunanan travelled 12 times in 2013; 12 times in 2012; 14 times in 2011; 5 times in 2010; 10 times in 2009; 14 times in 2008; 8 times in 2007; 5 times in 2006; once in 2005 and twice in 2004.
“Lumalabas po na sa loob ng 10 taon na nasa TRC si Dennis Cunanan, nagbyahe po sya ng higit kumulang 80 beses Eighty times, Mr. President,” he exclaimed.
“At ang kamangha-mangha dito, ang mga byahe nya ay kung hindi raw first class ay business class. At hindi lamang tumatagal ng tatlo, apat o limang araw ito at hindi din lang po on weekends katulad ng kanyang sinabi dahil mayroong dalawang lingo, tatlong linggo at may mga biyahe pa na tumatagal ng isang buwan…,” the senator added.
After Cunanan, Estrada went directly to expose Tuason so that the DOJ “may rethink and reconsider its policy of picking stray cats just to build its case.”
Estrada said Tuason owned a P45 million “house and lot in Dasmariñas Village in Makati City, which she allegedly acquired in 2009.
The Dasmariñas property, he said, was dubbed as “Malampaya mansion” because the money used to buy the properties was part of the P242-million kickbacks she allegedly got from the Malampaya gas funds.
Aside from the mansion, Estrada said Tuason, using her kickbacks, was able to put a corporation, the Rubysons Inc., in October 2009 and an P80-million capitalized corporation allegedly for her sons.
“Obviously not content with the multi-million corporation, Mrs. Tuason also put up a high-end jewelry store in a plush hotel in August 2013 managed by her niece, Jocelyn. Easily, this investment is again worth so many millions, Mr. President,” said the senator.
Estrada said Tuason also bought in 2008 membership shares at the Manila Polo Club, which were said to be worth P12 million, for her two sons, a real estate at the Las Vegas Country Club said to be worth P6.3 million; and a property in Oakland, California worth $150,000 in September 2013.
Tuason, he said, also allegedly owned a house in Henderson, Nevada, Kawayan Cove in Cavite and other properties in the Philippines.
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