Ruby Tuason returns Php40M to govt pic.twitter.com/ukRBGP8cDO
— robert mano (@robertmanodzmm) May 2, 2014
MANILA – Assistant Ombudsman Asryman Rafanan reported that the Office of the Ombudsman has granted Ruby Tuason immunity and the status of state witness in exchange for a tell-all testimony about the multi-billion peso pork barrel scam.
Rafanan informed the media that the special panel conducted the preliminary investigations and decided to grant Tuason’s requests.
“In a 5-page immunity agreement forged between the Ombudsman and Tuason,” Rafanan said. “Tuason was granted immunity from prosecution in the said [priority development assistance fund] cases in exchange for undertaking to testify on her personal knowledge on these cases and produce documents in her possession on the details of the alleged misuse of the PDAF and subject to terms and conditions of the immunity agreement.”
Rafanan also mentioned that Tuason returned P40 million to the Philippines government. According to Tuason’s previous testimonies at the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearings, this is the amount of money she received as “kick back” from all the embezzled public funds between Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, Atty. Gigi Reyes, and former senate president Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile.
However, despite returning the money, he said that Tuason’s immunity is not written in stone.
“The proposed testimony of Tuason was found to be necessary in determining the truth of the acts committed and was found to be material,” he said.
During her appearance before the Committee, Tuason detailed how she allegedly delivered millions to Estrada and Reyes as part of her tasks under Janet Lim-Napoles’ instructions. She said she even delivered these kickbacks to Estrada in his very own office in nonetheless but the Senate of the Philippines.
Tuason testified, “It would be hypocritical of me to say that I was not motivated by commissions from Mrs. Napoles. I was. The mistake was grave and selfish. The decision haunts me with regret. My conscience can no longer take it.”
With reports from ANC, Yahoo! Philippines, and InterAksyon.com