MANILA – Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Wednesday dared Senator Jinggoy Estrada to name other senators who supposedly had transactions with pork barrel scam witness Ruby Tuason instead of giving "blind items."
"Sana sinabi niya kung sino-sino 'yun, para tayo kasing nagba-blind item dito e," Trillanes, a fierce enemy of Estrada-ally Juan Ponce Enrile, told reporters.
Estrada on Tuesday said he is surprised why Tuason only mentioned him and Enrile's former chief aide Atty. Gigi Reyes in her affidavit "when she has a lot of senator-friends who she also visited and sought for projects with the PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund)."
Tuason, a socialite and former Palace aide, admitted delivering kickbacks from alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles to Senator Estrada and Reyes, Sen. Enrile's former chief of staff.
Estrada earlier lambasted Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Chairman Teofisto "TG" Guingona III for supposedly prejudging him in the pork barrel scam by saying that Tuason's testimony is a “three-point shot, buzzer beater and winning shot."
He said he feels hurt by his colleague's apparent conclusion, especially since the committee has yet to finish its probe and come up with its report.
Guingona, addressing Estrada's accusation in a privilege speech on Tuesday, said it was never his intention to prejudge Estrada. He said his statement "did not refer to a state of guilt on the part of any person."
Estrada, not satisfied with Guingona's response, said the Blue Ribbon Committee chairman did not even bother to press Tuason for more information, including the names of those whom Tuason had dealings with in the past.
"Why didn’t you even bother to ask her? Who else was she visiting in the Senate apart from the office of Senator Enrile and my office? I received information and I can support that, that she has been asking our colleagues here, former colleagues and incumbent colleagues here, for projects and she was peddling it," Estrada told Guingona.
Senators Estrada, Enrile and Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. are facing plunder and malversation charges before the Office of the Ombudsman. Napoles, currently detained for a separate case of serious illegal detention, is also among the 38 respondents in the case. – with a report from Ruby Tayag, dzMM