MANILA - Former president and Manila Mayor Joseph "Erap" Estrada is unfazed about the return to the Philippines of his former aide, Ruby Tuason, who was sworn in Friday morning as a witness in the pork barrel scam.
"Wala pa namang sinasabi. Ano masasabi ko dyan?" he said while watching the live coverage of ANC showing Tuason taking her oath before lawyers.
Estrada admitted that he worked before with Tuason when he was President in 1998.
"Di naman siya social secretary nun. Ang alam ko hindi, pero empleyado siya ng Palasyo," he said.
He also clarified that he knew Ruby Tuason even before he became president. He said Ruby was then still married to Butch Tuason, former chairman of the Philippine Sports Commission and a cousin of Jose Miguel Arroyo.
Estrada said it never crossed his mind to call Tuason during the time that she was mentioned in the scam.
He added that he is very confident that his son, Senator Jinggoy Estrada, will be able to defend himself from allegations that he pocketed millions of pesos of his pork barrel funds by funneling them to fake NGOs set up by Janet Lim Napoles.
What should be done now, according to Estrada, is to wait for the case to be filed in court where the people being implicated will be given the right to defend themselves and the pieces of evidence can be presented.
"Para hindi trial by publicity ang mangyayari, katulad nung nangyari sa akin," he said.
He also said he doesn't want Jinggoy to suffer the same fate that he had in year 2001 when an impeachment case was filed against him.
Estrada recalled the testimony of impeachment witness Clarissa Ocampo, a ranking bank official, who testified that she was there when Estrada signed a different name for a large amount of money deposited in the bank where she was working.
Prosecutors in the impeachment trial later walked out when senators blocked the opening of an envelope containing bank documents allegedly linking Estrada.
The decision to block the opening of the envelope later led to the 2001 EDSA Dos revolt that removed Estrada from power.