Estrada: Spare my mother from ‘pork’ controversy

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

MANILA -- Senator Jinggoy Estrada on Wednesday appealed to Ruby Tuason, a longtime friend of their family, to spare his mother, former First Lady Loi Estrada, from the pork scam controversy.

Tuason flew in last week from the United States to testify on her supposed role as bagman for businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles. Tuason said she delivered kickbacks to Estrada and Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile.

"Lumabas lang si Mrs. Tuason, ngayon iniimplicate na nanay ko. I think that's unfair. Sana sabihin na nila kung sino pa yung iba pang senador na tinatago nila, na ayaw pa nilang pangalanan, ilabas na rin nila," Senator Estrada told reporters.

"I hope they will spare my mother. Nananahimik na 'yung nanay ko. Actually ayaw niya itong pulitika," he added.

In her sworn affidavit, Tuason said she delivered kickbacks for Senator Estrada at the Dasmariñas Village residence of Justa Tantoco, a former aide of Mrs. Estrada.

The senator said Tantoco is "a very close friend of my mother."

"She has nothing to do with this. I don't know why her name is cropping up," he said in defense of her "Tita Justa."

On Thursday, Tuason is set to appear at the Senate Blue Ribbon committee hearing on the alleged use of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of legislators.

Napoles allegedly put up fake non-government organizations and channeled lawmakers' PDAF for bogus programs and projects.

"I think the hearing tomorrow (Thursday) is meant to depict us as demons here again, as what they did in previous hearings," Estrada said.

Estrada, along with Enrile and Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. have been accused of plunder before the Office of the Ombudsman.

Estrada said he would have wanted to attend the Senate probe but his lawyers barred him from doing so.

Aside from Tuason, whistleblowers Benhur Luy, Marina Sula, and Merlina Suña have also been asked to reappear at the Blue Ribbon hearing.(Sunnex)

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