MANILA -- Senators took turns on grilling Ruby Tuason regarding what she knows about the multi-billion pork barrel scam during the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on Thursday.
Some of them, including Teofisto "TG" Guingona III and Miriam Defensor Santiago, were convinced that Tuason's testimony will strengthen the case against those implicated in the pork barrel scam.
Tuason has admitted delivering pork barrel kickbacks from Janet Lim Napoles to Senator Jinggoy Estrada and Senator Juan Ponce Enrile's former chief of staff, Atty. Gigi Reyes.
Estrada and Enrile are two of the senators accused of conspiring with Napoles in funneling billions of their priority development assistance funds (PDAF) to bogus non-governmental organizations (NGOs) the businesswoman set up.
Senator Antonio Trillanes, however, criticized Tuason for not providing more details about the anomaly.
He lashed out at Tuason for giving an inadequate testimony, noting that she could not provide the exact amount of alleged kickbacks she delivered to Estrada and Reyes.
"You're a smart, sophisticated woman. And I know you know more than this... I know it's been a long time but you have to focus so that you can get necessary details that can help the case," he said.
"Parang ano kayo, you're not sure when you're talking about details of the projects. Parang nagco-consult pa kayo kay Mr. [Benhur] Luy," he added.
Tuason then answered: "Kasi ho bine-base ko itong accounting ko dito with his record dahil wala ho akong ledger."
"But I think all of these things can be recalled in your memory, especially this time na nagre-reflect kayo na magte-testify kayo. Dapat ho nabubuo niyo na ulit yan," Trillanes said.
The senator also pressed Tuason on whether Enrile knew about the kickbacks because the senator's money was coursed through Reyes.
"Sa dami ho nito, siguro ho naman meron siyang inkling," Tuason replied.
Trillanes said, "Inkling? So yun ho ang sinasabi ko dito eh... I admire your courage nga for coming out, pero kulang ho eh... Do you actually believe kung inkling lang yan ibig sabihin si Atty. Gigi Reyes ang may power to do all these things without the knowledge of her principal?"
'Bull's eye, winning shot'
Santiago, for her part, said Tuason is the "perfect state witness" for the pork scam case.
"This is categorical eye-witness evidence. Eye-witness evidence does not always need corroboration for the instruction of those who have been discussing the law as if they know it. You're an eye witness, that is in the words of the secretary of justice 'slam dunk' evidence. Or in my own words that is bull's eye dahil nakita mo mismo eh," she said.
Meanwhile, Guingona, who is the chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, also said Tuason's testimony strengthens the government's case against the accused, especially Estrada.
"Mrs. Tuason, your testimony is very very essential. It's very very important because this is the first testimony where it was clearly established that someone personally...handed over kickbacks to a senator," he said.
"So with that, I think the testimony of Mrs. Ruby Tuason is a three-point shot na buzzer beater na, winning shot pa," he added. -- With ANC