“I have not asked nor received any kickbacks or commissions from Mrs. Tuason.”
Ito ang mariing pahayag ni Senator Jinggoy Estrada sa alegasyon ni Ruby Tuason na tumanggap siya ng milyun-milyong pisong kickback mula sa mga pinondohang proyekto ng senador, gamit ang Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) o pork barrel.
Kahit kailan ay hindi raw siya nakipagtransaksiyon kay Tuason—dating social secretary ng ama ng senador na si dating Pangulong Joseph Estrada—na umaming tagapamagitan nina Senator Estrada at ang itinuturong pork barrel scam mastermind na si Janet Lim Napoles.
Sa Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing kahapon, February 13, inihayag ni Tuason na makailang-beses siyang nagpunta sa opisina ni Senator Estrada sa Senado upang personal na iabot ang komisyon nito mula kay Napoles.
Matatandaang tinukoy rin ni Tuason ang dalawang security personnel ng senador na sina Alfredo delos Reyes at isang nagngangalang “Tani” na nagsilbing escorts niya upang hindi masilip ang dala niyang pera para kay Senator Estrada sa opisina nito sa Senado.
Ngunit muling iginiit ni Senator Estrada na pagkain lamang ang dinadala ni Tuason kapag binibisita siya nito sa Senado.
Sa huli, binatikos din ni Senator Estrada ang pahayag ni Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Chairman Teofisto "TG" Guingona na ang testimoniya ni Tuason ay hindi lang “three-point shot buzzer beater” kundi “winning shot pa.”
Ito ay sa kadahilanang wala umanong naipakitang ebidensiya si Tuason, maliban sa salita nito laban sa kanya.
Narito ang kabuuan ng opisyal na pahayag ni Senator Estrada na ipinadala sa media kahapon, February 13:
"I vehemently deny the statements made today by Mrs. Ruby Tuason before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on the so-called pork barrel scam investigation.
"I have said it before and I am saying it again, I have not asked nor received any kickbacks or commissions from Mrs. Tuason.
"Again, I reiterate my request to the Senate leadership to check and immediately make public the CCTV footages wherein Mrs. Tuason allegedly delivered money to me in the basement parking of this building.
"As to her testimony that I directly dealt with Mrs. Janet Napoles regarding my PDAF, that is a total lie. I never had any dealings with Mrs. Napoles, either directly or indirectly regarding my PDAF.
"It is quite obvious from Mrs. Tuason’s body language and her replies from the questions propounded on her as well as the information shared to the committee that she had no recollection of events on her own.
"As seen on live national television, she has to confer with Benhur Luy and constantly referred to her affidavit and other papers to answer the questions from the senators.
"If she is really telling the truth, why can’t she recall such instances from her own memory and not rely from written statement? Mrs. Tuason is merely being fed all these information.
"I symphatize with her when she said that she’d rather die than go to jail. Undoubtedly a person that desperate will say anything and do everything to avoid going to jail, which to her is worse than death.
"Two of the members of my staff were mentioned during the hearing. I have said in my previous interviews that I send either my driver or my security to assist Mrs. Tuason in bringing the snacks to my office.
"Let me stress that no money or kickback was ever delivered to me by Mrs. Tuason in my residence or in my Senate office or in any other venue and at any time.
"And if ever my staff will be invited by the committee, I will not prevent them from appearing.
"Now, as to how the way today’s hearing went, all I can say is - "ang pag handle ni Sen. Guingona ng hearing ng PDAF scam ay maituturing na "offensive foul" dahil masyado nang hinusgahan at tinanggap na niya ang mga pahayag ni Mrs. Tuason kahit wala pa namang basehan o ebidensiya liban lang sa salita ni Mrs. Tuason.
"Binalya niya ang mga kapwa Senador niya para lamang maka-shoot o maka-puntos siya sa maagang pamumulitika."
Kaugnay nito, napag-usapan sa Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing na kasalukuyan nang kinakalap ang closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage kung saan posibleng nakunan si Tuason na bumibisita sa tanggapan ni Senator Estrada sa Senado.
Base sa testimoniya ni Tuason, sisiyasatin ang CCTV footage sa Senado noong taong 2008, kung kailan madalas umanong nagdala ang una ng pera sa senador.
Sa kasalukuyan, nahaharap si Senator Estrada sa kasong plunder na inihain ng Department of Justice at National Bureau of Investigation sa Office of The Ombudsman noong September 16, 2013.