MANILA – Ruby Tuason, the former aide of ex-president and now Manila Joseph Estrada, decided to turn state witness in the pork barrel scam so she could finally clear her conscience, her lawyer said.
Speaking to dzMM, Tuason's lawyer Dennis Manalo said his client will tell the truth regarding the P10 billion pork barrel scam which involves businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles and several lawmakers.
"Iisa lang po ang rason, she came forward to clear her conscience despite knowing full well the dangers to her life and reputation, that is her only consideration. That is the truth and nothing else," Manalo said.
Manalo said Tuason, one of those charged with plunder over the pork barrel scam, is now under the Department of Justice's Witness Protection Program. She also intends to apply for immunity from the charges before the Office of the Ombudsman.
Whistle-blowers have identified Tuason as the one who allegedly received kickbacks for Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile.
One whistle-blower, former JLN Corporation finance clerk Marina Sula, told the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, that she brought a bag of money to Tuason's house in 2011.
An Anti-Money Laundering Council investigation also revealed that P20 million in credit memo transactions was entered to Tuason's Union Bank of the Philippines account in 2008. This was supposedly rebates from the pork barrel funds funneled by Senator Enrile to Napoles' foundations.
A former social secretary of Estrada, Tuason has also been linked to the Malampaya fund scam.
She was charged with plunder along with former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo, former Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, former Agrarian Reform Secretary Nasser Pangandaman, former Budget Secretary Rolando, and several others for allegedly pocketing the funds obtained as royalties from the natural gas project off the seas of Palawan.
The complaint said Tuason pocketed P242.775 million in kickbacks "received through bank withdrawals for a still unidentified principal."
Radio dzMM, 7 February 2014