Ruby Tuason working on returning P40M, says lawyer

Posted at 04/10/2014 8:39 PM

MANILA - Socialite and former Palace aide Ruby Tuason met with Justice Secretary Leila De Lima and Justice Undersecretary Jose Justiniano on Thursday to report about her travel to the United States.

This is part of her commitment and undertaking as a provisional witness under the Department of Justice (DOJ) Witness Protection Program (WPP).

Tuason, a respondent in the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam case, left for the US on March 2 and returned to the Philippines on April 8.

Her lawyer, Dennis Manalo, said the purpose of her trip was to work on financing matters for the P40 million she committed to return to government as a sign of her good faith.

De Lima said Tuason's camp had already filed a motion for reconsideration on the Ombudsman resolution indicting her for plunder.

De Lima declined to reveal what she discussed with Tuason because she said the issue is covered by a confidentiality provision under the WPP.

"According to her lawyer, they filed already a motion for reconsideration at the Office of the Ombudsman, dahil kasama pa siya sa pinapa-indict, in other words, her liability was also established by the Office of the Ombudsman without prejudice to the action on the pending application for immunity," she said.

"Sinabi naman ng Office of the Ombudsman, when they issued the joint resolution in those three cases against the three senators, ay pending pa yung application for immunity niya. Di pa nila pwedeng i-rule because that would be unprocedural," she added.

"On the part of Mrs. Tuason, she's expecting that her application will be favorably acted upon. It really depends on the Ombudsman," De Lima said. "Ang pagco-consider kasi ng isang state witness, that can happen anytime before the filing of information."

She said there is no update yet with regard to Technology Resource Center Director-General on-leave Dennis Cunanan.

"We are leaving it up to the Ombudsman. Tingnan natin how the Ombudsman would rule in the status also of Dennis Cunanan. Pero di ko pa nakakausap si Cunanan on that particular matter."

She said Tuason is working on raising the P40 million she promised to return to the government. "Sabi niya she is still serious about that commitment and precisely, she is working on it."