PNoy defends Senate pork scam probe

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 14 2014 12:51 PM | Updated as of Feb 14 2014 08:51 PM

MANILA - President Aquino supported Friday the Senate probe on the pork barrel scam, saying it would help put "safeguards" to prevent the misuse of public funds.

He said he was able to watch portions of Ruby Tuason's testimony during Thursday's hearing.

"Nasa karapatan ng Senado na magpatawag ng mga kaukulang witness. Pwede magpahusay ng mga batas, lalo na dahil ang budget (ay) galing sa Kongreso, lower house at pwedeng amyendahan, pwedeng sang-ayunan ng Senado," Aquino told reporters.

"'Yung paksa ay natutukoy sa pang-aabuso ng sistema. Natural maganda ngang malaman nila kung paano naabuso ang sistema na 'to para mailagay ang kaukulang safeguards na di na maabuso sa darating na panahon."

On Thursday, Tuason told the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee that she personally delivered pork barrel kickbacks to Senator Jinggoy Estrada and Senator Juan Ponce Enrile.

She said she delivered kickbacks to Estrada's office in the Senate twice, with the personal security of Estrada helping her to get through security.

She also said she delivered the pork barrel kickbacks to Atty. Gigi Reyes, former chief aide of Enrile. She said she made the deliveries in restaurants such as Tsukiji, Mamou, Gourmand and L’Opera.

She said Reyes would always pick up the money alone but that Senator Enrile would sometimes arrive to drink a cup of coffee after they were done.