Miriam wants set time to interpellate Ruby

Posted at 02/11/2014 1:07 PM | Updated as of 02/11/2014 1:07 PM

MANILA - Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago asked her colleagues in the Senate Blue Ribbon committee to allow her to interpellate witness Ruby Tuason at a set time during Thursday's hearing on the pork barrel scam.

In a letter to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, Santiago asked her colleagues to allow her to interpellate Tuason at exactly 11 a.m.

"My reason for this unusual request is that I suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, which allows me to participate in any event outside my house only for some two hours. Travel time from my house to the Senate, back
and forth, is already two hours," she said.

"Hence, I can participate in the Senate proceedings for only an extremely limited period of time, of maybe 30 to 45 minutes. Otherwise, I will be unable to muster the energy," she added.

Santiago noted that the normal order of priority for interpellation should be Sen. TG Guingona, Senate President Franklin Drilon, Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano and Sen. Francis Escudero.

She also said she will keep her interpellation short out of courtesy to the senators and for the sake of her own health.

Guingona earlier said that the Blue Ribbon Committee will resume its investigation on the pork barrel scam on February 13, Thursday, and will invite Tuason to shed more light on the issue.

Pork scam whistleblowers have identified Tuason, a former aide of ex-president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, as the one who allegedly received kickbacks for Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile.

Estrada and Enrile are two of the respondents in the plunder and malversation complaints filed by the DOJ in connection with the pork barrel anomaly.

Tuason is facing two plunder charges -- one for the pork barrel scam and the other for the Malampaya fund scam.

She was charged with plunder along with former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo, former Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, former Agrarian Reform Secretary Nasser Pangandaman, former Budget Secretary Rolando, and several others for allegedly pocketing the funds obtained as royalties from the natural gas project off the seas of Palawan.