Retired Lt. Col. George Rabusa, a military budget officer from 2000 to 2002, said he used to hand out shopping money whenever the wife of Reyes traveled in the country and abroad. He said airfare and payment for accommodations were shouldered by the Office of the Chief of Staff.
"The money coming from me was only for shopping," Rabusa told senators, recalling that he once gave the generals' wives $10,000 in pocket money.
Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, chair of the blue ribbon committee, said Erlinda would be summoned to the next hearing on Feb. 17.
Guingona said a subpoena would be issued to Reyes to compel the former AFP chief of staff to show up. The committee also deferred a decision on the motions to cite Reyes and his lawyer, and retired military comptroller Carlos Garcia for contempt.
Ligot, the military comptroller when Reyes was the chief of staff, denied any knowledge of his wife's travels, much to the disbelief of senators. At one point, he said his wife might have kept her trips "secret."
"And what might have been her reason for keeping them secret?" Estrada asked him in Filipino. "Even our pet dogs or cats, when they go astray, we look for them. What more if it's your wife missing?"
Erlinda owns a house at 7102 Stanton Avenue, Buena Park, California, according to Estrada. He said Ligot's wife bought the property in cash for $183,868 in 2002.
The second property is at 1240 South Cabernet Circle in Anaheim, California, which was worth $504,000 when Ligot's wife allegedly bought it on Dec. 23, 2003. Estrada said she paid a portion in cash and sought a loan for the remainder of the acquisition cost.
Estrada told Ligot that he had gotten word that Erlinda was used as a "dummy" for the retired general, who allegedly owned the Buena Park property. He said he was also told that the wife was fronting for Teresita Reyes as the real owner of the Anaheim house.
"I would like to invoke my right against self-incrimination," Ligot replied, saying the houses and travels were the subject of a pending case against him in the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court.
Ligot said he learned about the houses only after they were included in the charges in the anti-graft court. He recalled asking his wife in Filipino: "What happened?"
When shown pictures of the houses, the former military comptroller said it was the first time he saw them.