Jinggoy: I will win, Tuason will crumble

Posted at 05/02/14 4:34 PM

MANILA -- Senator Jinggoy Estrada is not surprised with the Office of the Ombudsman's decision to grant immunity to Ruby Tuason, who has implicated him in the pork barrel scam.

In an interview on ANC's "News Now" on Friday, Estrada said he has long expected that Tuason will be granted immunity from suit.

He said Tuason was only included by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in the list of respondents in the pork barrel scam case "to make it appear that there was a semblance of fairness to this ongoing investigation."

"But we all know this is already a done deal and the only real targets of this prosecution from the very beginning are the three senators," he said.

Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. are the two others implicated in the multibillion-peso scam.

All three have denied any involvement in the anomaly.

Tuason, in his testimony before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, claimed personally delivering pork barrel kickbacks from alleged mastermind Janet Lim Napoles to Estrada himself and Atty. Gigi Reyes, the former chief of staff of Enrile.

Assistant Ombudsman Asryman Rafanan said Tuason was granted immunity in exchange for her testimony, which he said was "necessary in determining the truth of the acts committed and was found to be material."

He also said Tuason has already returned to government the P40 million worth of commissions that she supposedly earned from her involvement in the scam.

Estrada, however, raised questions on how Tuason came to decide how much she would return to government.

"I really do not know how they derived the amount of P40 million," the senator said, further alleging that Tuason is the mastermind of the Malampaya fund scam.

Nonetheless, Estrada said he is still "very confident" that he will end up victorious even if plunder charges are filed against him and the others before the Sandiganbayan.

"I am very confident that we will be victorious in the end, and Mrs. Tuason will crumble in the cross-examination," he said.