No holds barred hearing for Tuason testimony - Guingona


Posted at Feb 11 2014 05:49 PM | Updated as of Feb 12 2014 02:14 AM

MANILA - Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Chairman Sen TG Guingona said Thursday's hearing on the pork barrel scam will be a “no holds barred” session between invited resource person Ruby Tuason and the senators.

"It will be no holds barred in the spirit of transparency," Guingona said.

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago has already asked Guingona that she be able to pose her questions to Tuason at around 11 a.m. due to her chronic fatigue syndrome.

Santiago has said she'll be attending Thursday's hearing to personally question Tuason about her knowledge on the alleged anomalous PDAF allocations of senators Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile.

In a letter to the Blue Ribbon Committee, Santiago said that her reason for her request is because "I suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, which allows me to participate in any event outside my house only for some two hours."

Santiago said the travel time from her house to the Senate and back again is already two hours. Hence, she can participate in the Senate proceedings for only an extremely limited period of time of around 30 to 45 minutes.

"Otherwise, I will be unable to muster the energy. After any such event, I immediately go home thoroughly enervated. I have to lie in bed not only for the remainder of the day, but also for the entirety the following day," Santiago said. "I assure you that I shall try my best - out of courtesy to you, and for the sake of my health - to keep my interpellation short. Thank you.”

Guingona said he sees no problem with the request of Santiago. "First come first serve basis yan (questioning), the last time, pinagbigyan naman sya nung mga unang nakalista, It’s really up to those listed before her," Guingona said.

Yesterday, Sen JV Ejercito said the minority group is affected by the turn of events.

He said the minority group hopes that the accusations will not be selective to non-administration solons. "Ang sa akin lang, buksan natin lahat. Hindi selective. Kung meron sa administrasyon, buksan din. Kaibigan man ng pangulo yan, dapat malaman din natin.”

Aside from the alleged illegal transactions of solons, Tuason may also be questioned about her knowledge on the Malampaya Fund Scam, Guingona said. "The opportunity is there. We will also tackle Malampaya. We will also ask her about it," he said.

He said the senators will also ask Tuason for her motive in coming out.

The Blue Ribbon Committee has already received a copy of Tuason's affidavit and is under review by its members. Whistleblowers Benhur Luy and others were also invited to attend the Thursday's hearing.