Ballsy willing to testify in $30M extort try probe: Palace
Louis Bacani (The Philippine Star) - July 31, 2013 - 5:24pm

MANILA, Philippines - Presidential sister Ballsy Aquino Cruz, who is being implicated in an extortion attempt on a Czech firm, is willing to testify in a probe on the controversy, a Palace official said Wednesday.

"If you want her (Ballsy Aquino) to testify, invite her... She will be ready, willing, and able to speak to whoever wants to ask for her views," Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said at a televised press briefing.

Cruz and her husband Eldon are being linked to a $30-million extortion attempt on Czech firm Inekon for the contract to supply trains for the Metro Rail Transit 3.

"Wala siyang alam. She was already cleared by the Czech ambassador," Lacierda said.

The Palace has denied that Aquino-Cruz is involved in the rumored extort try, saying the allegations against the Presidential sister are "murky."

“We know for a fact that they carry the legacy of the names of their parents. It's a very precious legacy that they have been holding. They are the bearers of this legacy and they will not, in any way, shape, or form, malign or demean this legacy,” Lacierda said at a briefing early this month.

He added that Aquino-Cruz was never involved in government affairs.

"I can only think of two or three times, or four times they were here (Palace) for the whole three years that their brother has assumed the presidency," Lacierda said. 

DOTC secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said he has ordered an investigation into the alleged extortion attempt. The National Bureau of Investigation is also conducting its own probe into the controversy.

Justice Secretary Leila De Lima said the investigation was ordered by the President himself.

Related story: NBI conducts probe on MRT shakedown bid

AQUINO-CRUZ BALLSY AQUINO BALLSY AQUINO CRUZ CRUZ JOSEPH EMILIO ABAYA JUSTICE SECRETARY LEILA DE LIMA LACIERDA METRO RAIL TRANSIT NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON EDWIN LACIERDA
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