MANILA -- Sen. Jinggoy Estrada admitted on Friday that Ruby Tuason occasionally went to the Senate to meet him but only to deliver merienda, not money.
Sen. Estrada, in response to Tuason's claims that she personally delivered pork barrel kickbacks to Jinggoy in the Senate's basement parking, said that whenever Tuason went to the Senate, she would call him up first so that a security aide or a driver can help her carry food.
"Pag pumupunta sa Senate 'yan, tatawag sa kin 'yan, 'Oy Jinggoy pasundo mo naman ako dito.' Utusan ko driver ko, or security ko, sunduin mo si Tita Ruby sa baba, may dalang merienda yan," Estrada told ANC.
"A couple of times, may dala siyang sandwich galing Milky Way, minsan pansit, minsan empanaditas. Walang magbubuhat e, wala siyang alalay. Pinatulungan ko sa driver ko o sa security ko para magbuhat ng meryenda na ipapakain nya sa amin," he added.
"Ano sinasabi niyang pera? Tita Ruby naman, let's go straight to the facts, sana po 'wag naman tayo magsinungaling. Don't concoct stories. Sabihin naman natin yung totoo," Estrada said.
According to the senator, one of the reasons why Tuason decided to turn state witness is to save herself at his own expense. He said Tuason could be under extreme pressure.
"Hindi siya sanay na nagtatago siya. Like a politician, she's exposed to people. Hindi niya nakayanan, tago sya ng tago, may humahabol sa kanya," he said.
Estrada also said Tuason apparently told a mutual friend that she was going to do everything she can so she won't go to jail.
"Dun pa lang sa statement shows na she will exert effort para hindi siya makulong," the senator said.
"Malinis ang konsensya ko. I can look straight into your eyes Tita Ruby, you never brought any money to me," he said.