President Aquino hopes Tuason testimony on ‘pork barrel’ mess to result in safeguards vs abuse

MANILA, Feb. 14 (PNA) — President Benigno Aquino III on Friday voiced hopes the testimony before the Senate by Ruby Tuason will lead to safeguards against the abuse of the country’s finances.

In an interview with media, the President said information provided by such witnesses can help lawmakers refine or amend laws to protect public funds.

“Ang buong paksa ay natutukoy sa pang-aabuso ng sistema. Natural, maganda ngang malaman nila kung paano naabuso itong sistemang ito para mailagay ‘yung kaukulang safeguards nang hindi na maabuso sa darating na panahon (What we are looking into is the abuse of the system. It is good to see in detail how the system is being exploited, so proper safeguards can be put up to prevent further abuse),” he said.

On Thursday, Tuason appeared before a hearing of the Senate and provided details of how some lawmakers allegedly profited from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

The President said he managed to occasionally catch parts of the televised hearing Thursday.

Meanwhile, the President said it will be premature to consider Janet Napoles, the suspected mastermind behind the PDAF mess, as a potential state witness at this time.

He said Napoles has so far kept quiet on the case, and has not shown any sign she should be considered “not the most guilty.”

“So until magsasalita siya, siguro, premature na sabihing puwede siyang maging state witness (So until she talks, it would be premature to say she can be considered a state witness),” he said. (PNA)