Jinggoy aide escorted Tuason inside Senate

By Kathlyn dela Cruz, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Feb 13 2014 07:15 PM | Updated as of Feb 14 2014 05:16 AM


MANILA (UPDATED) -- The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on Thursday showed Ruby Tuason photos of their staff members for her to identify who among them escorted her from the parking lot to the office of Senator Jinggoy Estrada.

Tuason, who has admitted delivering pork barrel kickbacks from alleged mastermind Janet Lim Napoles to Estrada, said during the hearing that a staff member would escort her car going in to a garage near the driveway.

She said she would be dropped off inside the Senate compound and pass through a separate entrance.

She noted that she never used the Senate main entrance since the Senate security might check her bag and see the money.

Tuason initially marked a person in a photo from 2010 and told senators that that person "looked like" the one who fetched her.

That person then turned out to be a staff member of Estrada.

"Ang pangalan na lumalabas Mr. Alfredo Delos Reyes, and I've been informed that he is part of the security of Senator Estrada," said Senator Teofisto "TG" Guingona III, the Blue Ribbon Committee's chairman.

Tuason also pointed to another person in one of the photos but his name was not on the roster.

That man was later identified as Ferdinand Tanalion, also an aide of Estrada.

'Merienda, not money'

Estrada, for his part, confirmed that he had his security aides escort Tuason to his office but denied that he received money from her.

Instead, Tuason brought "merienda" including trays of sandwiches or pansit, he said.

"What she is bringing here in my office tray tray na sandwich. I agree with her and I admit na yung security ko at yung driver ang pinasusundo ko sa kanya para kunin yung kanyang mga dinadalang merienda sa amin dito," he told ANC.

"No money nor kickbacks was every delivered to me by Mrs. Tuason in my residence or in my Senate office or in any other venue or at any other time," he added.

Nonetheless, Estrada said he will not prevent his staff from appearing in the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on the pork barrel scam in case they will be subpoenaed. -- With report from David Dizon, ABS-CBNnews.com