MANILA - The House independent bloc wants Ruby Tuason to come out with physical and indisputable evidence first before she says anything else about the pork barrel scam.
This was the statement of the bloc read by Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez. The bloc is composed of allies of former President Gloria Arroyo.
Jesus Santos, a former spokesman of Arroyo's husband Mike, has been tagged as supposedly getting Malampaya funds kickbacks.
“We also urge Justice Sec. Leila de Lima to stop claiming that Ms. Tuason’s revelations is ‘slam dunk evidence’ until she presents proof," Romualdez said. "Let it be for the record that we are not trying to defend anybody in the pork barrel scam. But as we all know, Ms. Tuason has not produced any physical evidence up to now to back up her claims. All she has is her words and definitely whatever she says is not Gospel-truth."
“This will not be fair to all concerned. Not to mention the fact that Ms. Tuason can very well be a cover for other more pressing scam issues like the continued ‘untouchable’ and ’perpetual silence’ being enjoyed by suspected scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles," he added.
ABAKADA Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz, meanwhile, is asking why Tuason only surfaced now.
"In the case of Ms. Tuason, the DOJ should make a clear definition of terms, kasi her statement have to be taken in the context of the previous statement of the other whistle blowers. They actually pointed to her. There is now a conflict between her statement and the other whistleblowers. It cannot be a corroborative statement because her statement are in conflict with Benhur Luy and all the others," he said.
Dela Cruz also wants Tuason to shed light on other politicians with whom she may have had dubious dealings.
"Apparently, her best argument for being a state witness is that she was the organizer of the parties for high profile individuals. Who were in those parties? Sinu-sino yung mga nasa Dasmarinas, Forbes Park na sinasabing high profile political leaders?" he asked.
"No, I'm not insinuating. I want to find out who were in the parties," he said.
Romualdez claims 'double standard'
This, as the House bloc called out the Aquino administration for its alleged double standard in investigating government scams.
"We also call on the government to fast-track and give equal priority to investigations on both the pork barrel and smuggling activities," Romualdez said. "While we fully support and all moves to find out the truth once and for all about the pork barrel scam, we find it puzzling that smuggling does not enjoy the same attention from the Aquino government."
"But up to now, not even one supposed ‘big fish’ has been arrested and charged, or prosecuted until convicted in court. We don’t even hear of a non-stop lifestyle check on Bureau of Customs personnel and other agencies which tolerate this kind of activity," he added.
Romualdez claimed that the investigation on the pork barrel scam has been selective. "Ang very obvious ay itong si Janet Lim Napoles masyadong high profile kaya nahuli siya. Maraming nainggit sa kanya after 2010. Itong mga binibili nilang mga apartment sa Los Angeles o kung ano-anuman. Ito lahat naganap after 2010. So lumago yung mga activities o transactions o yung mga schemes o scams, seemingly after 2010," he said.