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Friday, February 14, 2014

Ruby Confirms Kickback Deliveries

Suspect turned witness Ruby Tuason yesterday confirmed that she personally delivered Pork Barrel kickbacks to Sen. Estrada and the chief of staff of Senate Minority Leader Enrile. Testifying at the continuation of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee's probe into the Php 10 Billion Pork Barrel Fund Scam yesterday, Tuason admitted that she acted as "middleman" to enable Napoles to tap the PDAF allocations of Enrile and Estrada. Napoles is currently detained at Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, while Enrile and Estrada are both placing plunder charges for illegally disbursing their PDAF allocations to bogus Non-Government Organizations (NGO) that Napoles controls. On 2 occasions in 2008, Tuason said she delivered Estrada's commissions to his Senate office. With the help of the senator, Tuason said she didn't have to pass through the usual security check at the entrance lobby of the building. Estrada she said would ask his security aide to assist her to go through the Senate's basement parking so her bag containing the money won't be opened. If Estrada has 1 or 2 million commission she would keep it in a small bag. But if the amount is bigger she would use a bigger bag with wheels and Estrada's security aide would assist her. Most of the time after giving the money, she would stay for a while to have a short conversation with Estrada in his office. One time she said she was able to give Php 9 Million in kickbacks to the senator from a project costing Php 75 Million. There was also a time she delivered Php 1 Million to Estrada in a comedy bar he owns in Greenhills, San Juan, when the latter asked her for money. She was accompanied by Napoles and her husband Jimmy. But Estrada who surfaced at the Senate about 2 hours after hearing reiterated his earlier statement that Tuason delivered to him trays of "Pancit" and sandwiches at the Senate building parking lot but never bags of money as alleged kickbacks from his Pork Barrel Funds. Estrada also said he would not prohibit his 2 aides from testifying before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee is subpoenaed. Tuason also testified after some time, Napoles stopped calling her and she assumed she was then able to transact directly with Estrada. She also reiterated that she was the one who introduced Estrada to Napoles, contrary the senator's statement that it was actress Lorna Tolentino who introduced him to the businesswoman. During the wake of actor Rudy Fernandez, Tuason said Estrada asked her for Napoles mobile phone number and since then transaction never passed through her.         
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