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No-holds-barred quiz of Ruby Tuason on pork 'scam' during Senate probe Thursday

InterAksyon file photo of Ruby Tuason.
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines – In the spirit of transparency, the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee will allow a “no-holds-barred” questioning of pork scam whistle-blower Ruby Tuason during the panel's next round of inquiry on Thursday into the multibillion-peso racket, which allegedly involved senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, and Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. 

"In the spirit of transparency, openness, it will be like other hearings. It will be no-holds-barred,” Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, chairman of the committee, told reporters Tuesday.  

Guingona said his committee would determine the truthfulness of Tuason's statements when the former aide of former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada attends the Senate hearing on February 13.

"(S)he can narrate how it was done, where it was done and under what circumstances...Sinabi n'ya meron s'yang direct contact [She said she had direct contact]. But all these have to be verified on Thursday,” Guingona said.

On Friday, Department of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima described Tuason's testimony as "slam dunk evidence" against the lawmakers who allegedly benefitted from their own pork barrel funds through their purported dealings with businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles. 

[READ RELATED STORY: Tuason gives 'slam dunk' evidence, admits she is Jinggoy, JPE pork conduit

In her affidavit, Tuason said she was the conduit of pork kickbacks intended for Jinggoy and Enrile and that she personally delivered the funds to Jinggoy, while she handed to Jessica "Gigi" Reyes the share of Enrile, Reyes' former boss. 

Guingona said that during the hearing on Thursday, the committee would also ask Tuason if she had knowledge about the alleged P900-million Malampaya fund scam, which purportedly siphoned government funds supposedly for agrarian reform beneficiaries victimized by typhoons but were bagged by foundations allegedly controlled by Napoles.

[READ RELATED STORY: MALAMPAYA SCAM | How Ondoy, Pepeng led to a third tragedy] 

Three other pork scam whistle-blowers led Benhur Luy were also invited by Guingona's committee to attend the inquiry, according to Guingona. They are expected to corroborate Tuason's testimony.