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Tuason’s just desserts served

Ninez Cacho-Olivares



Lying pork scam state witness Ruby Tuason’s request to the Sandiganbayan for a reinvestigation of her case on the P900-million Malampaya fund scam was rejected by the anti-graft court.

She filed this request not only to reinvestigate her role in the Malampaya scam, but she also wanted the court to determine whether the current scam charges would have an effect on her admission to the Witness Protection Program (WPP), an admission that was facilitated by then Justice chief, now a detainee on drug charges, Leila de Lima, for Tuason to provide perjured testimony against former Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile.

At the time, the two former senators, along with Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla, were charged and detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center where De Lima is now also detained.

It was clear that Ruby Tuason’s testimony against both Enrile and Jinggoy was based on pure lies and obviously coached by Leila, with the help of the yellow Ombudsman who granted Tuason full amnesty as state witness. Conchita Carpio-Morales is known for her active engagement in selective justice, as she has protected the yellows and their allies while charging the political foes of her yellow patron, then President Noynoy Aquino.

It was so evident that Tuason was lying under oath when she testified that she had delivered hundreds of millions of pesos to Gigi Reyes, Enrile’s chief of staff, as Tuason, under cross examination, couldn’t even name the dates of the claimed delivery of the cash nor the restaurants where she claimed she, Enrile and Gigi met for the cash deliveries.

She also perjured herself as state witness against Jinggoy Estrada when she narrated under oath that she had delivered tens of millions of pesos to Estrada.

It was clearly a lie, yet the selective Ombudsman and her prosecutors didn’t care about being engaged in witness tampering and coaching, while teaching them to perjure themselves, beginning with the certified perjurer Benhur Luy who lied about being kidnapped when the CCTV showed he never was abducted as he willingly went to see Napoles. He moreover stole and pocketed the so-called commissions for himself and his family as the evidence proved through the well over hundred million of pesos deposited in his and his family’s bank accounts. Yet there has been no case filed against Luy for willfully lying in court.

It was just as clear that Tuason was lying through her teeth in court when she gave dates of her cash deliveries to Jinggoy. The evidence provided showed without doubt that she lied about delivering tens of millions of pesos by way of commissions to Estrada in his Senate office.

Yet the dates she gave and the bags that contained the millions of pesos she alleged were delivered to Estrada just didn’t match with the certified Senate CCTV clips shown.

Also, it was clear that Tuason was committing deliberate perjury, faced with other CCTV clips that showed she was lying when she claimed she brought a duffel bag containing the cash when the evidence showed she brought no duffel bag and all she had was a tiny handbag as she went through the Senate security check.

Yet Ombudsman Morales and her prosecutors, as well as the Justice chief, De Lima, stuck to all the lies spewed by Tuason and ensured that she would get immunity.

But she figured she would also be granted immunity on the Malampaya scam as Tuason, the perjurer, is now being served her just desserts as she is now the accused big-time scammer in the Malampaya mess that amounted close to a billion pesos, the amount she conned from government funds.

That Malampaya fund case appeared to have been deliberately delayed under Morales, perhaps designed to ensure that she doesn’t back out of her immunity deal.

But not only does the possibility exist that Ruby Tuason may even lose her immunity, as well as her WPP status, now that a change of leadership has come about in the Ombudsman’s office, along with the loss of power and influence of the yellow President, who is himself in legal trouble today.

In a minute resolution from the Third Division, it was stated that the motion for a reinvestigation of Tuason lacks merit because it resembles a motion to remove her as an accused in the case, or a step toward discharging her from the WPP.

She even sought a leave of court to get the Ombudsman to reevaluate her WPP status since she claimed that this rejection may impact on her status as state witness, since she believes it covers all cases outside of the pork scam.

No dice, said the court, as any move on the immunity of Tuason should come from the prosecution as stated under Section 17, Rule 119 of the Revised Rules of Court.

The resolution also stated the Sandiganbayan cannot interfere with the functions of the Ombudsman on granting or denying the immunity of a state witness.

The Sandiganbayan said the alleged culpability of Tuason was already determined when the Ombudsman found probable cause against her for 97 counts each of graft and malversation of public funds.

Time for Tuason to be convicted and jailed.

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