Villar confirms dinner with Tuason, Estrada

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

SENATOR Cynthia Villar on Thursday confirmed that she had dinner with socialite Ruby Tuason and Senator Jinggoy Estrada in Tuason's so-called "Malampaya mansion."

Villar said the dinner "was purely social."

"She was trying to bring me closer to Senator Jinggoy since he is planning to run for a higher position," Villar said.

Earlier in the day, Estrada disclosed to reporters that he had dinner with Tuason and a neophyte senator belonging to the Senate majority bloc in Tuason's residence last year.

Estrada said they were just invited for dinner and no "dealings" were discussed with Tuason.

Villar said she had known Tuason since she was the social secretary of Senator Estrada's father, former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada. Villar's husband, Manny, was Speaker of the House of Representatives then.

Tuason, a close friend of the Estrada family, turned witness against Senator Estrada, who has been accused of plunder before the Office of the Ombudsman. Also charged with plunder are Senators Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. and Juan Ponce Enrile.

In a privilege speech last week, Estrada said Tuason's mansion at Dasmarinas Village in Makati City amounting to P45 million would be enough to fulfill her commitment of returning the P40-million commission she received from alleged pork scam queen Janet Lim-Napoles.

Estrada said the Dasmarinas house was a product of her kickbacks amounting to P242 million from the Malampaya fund.

Tuason earlier testified in the Senate Blue Ribbon committee that she acted as a "go-between" for Napoles and senators involved in the pork scam controversy. (Sunnex)

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