Miriam, Trillanes dare Jinggoy: Name names

Posted at 02/20/14 4:53 PM

MANILA -- Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago challenged Senator Jinggoy Estrada to name the senators who he said were also visited by Ruby Tuason in connection with their priority development assistance funds (PDAF).

"It places us all under a cloud," Santiago said. "If he names it and backed it up with details, it will improve his credibility."

"I really would like to know, I'm curious by nature," she added.

Santiago noted that when she asked Tuason during the Blue Ribbon Committee hearing last week, the former aide of ex-President Joseph "Erap" Estrada denied that she visited other senators aside from the younger Estrada.

Estrada manifested on Wednesday's session that he wants the Senate security's review of closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera footage to include the 5th floor of the Senate building from 2010 onwards to validate his information that Tuason was also visiting other senators.

Between Tuason and Estrada, Santiago said she is more inclined to believe the senator that Tuason visited other senators.

"Tuason is one of the persons that applied as state witness. She is not expected to reveal all but only those that the government wanted her to say," Santiago said.

Like Santiago, Senator Antonio Trillanes also challenged Estrada to start naming names instead of peddling a blind item.

"Gumawa siya ng resolution to make it a different subject altogether, and he will be the main resource person doon sa resolution na gagawin niya," Trillanes said.

"And sa akin nga, to spare everybody this exercise, sabihin mo na doon. Mag-privilege speech ka."

Meanwhile, Santiago believes there is nothing wrong with the Blue Ribbon Committee hearing the pork barrel scam case despite having senators implicated in the anomaly.

But she cautioned legislators to be careful of their statements.

"Our proceedings are open ended. You can harass witness, you can bully witness, but not unbearable statements," she said.

"All are bound by the rules of court but a Senate hearing is different, it's not a court proceeding. We can have an open mind," she added.