ZTE officials arrogant, China must conduct own investigation
Senator Richard Gordon clarified that he had not made any motion for officials of the Chinese government and ZTE to appear before the Senate to participate in any hearing or investigation into the national broadband deal.
He pointed out that during the hearing on the ZTE deal, he had made a motion for the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to formally or informally ask the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to make an appeal to the Chinese government to help the Philippines ferret out the truth by revealing if any Philippine officials who asked for bribes.
"I'm requesting the Chinese government to conduct their own investigation and find out if one of their corporations, a government company, has offered or transferred money to high Filipino officials of constitutional bodies like the Commission on Elections (Comelec)," Gordon said.
He said the China is a friend to the Philippines and an important economic partner in Asia. That being the case, he explained that as a friend, the Chinese government may be inclined to help shed light on the transaction by formally or informally communicating what they know about the broadband deal.
The lawmaker also lambasted ZTE officials after saying they will not allow itself to be dragged into any political circus.
"ZTE Corp. is very arrogant. They should help us in the investigation by showing their books or financial records to clarify if their company has offered money to high Filipino officials." Gordon said.
He stressed that the testimonies aired by NBN witness Rodolfo Lozada Jr. at the Senate hearing indicated that at least US$2 million had been advanced by China's ZTE to former Comelec chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr.
ZTE Corp. has already issued a statement denying all allegations by witnesses testifying in a Philippine Senate anti-corruption hearing that Abalos and First Gentleman Jose "Mike" Arroyo promised huge commission to clear a national broadband contract with the Chinese company.
ZTE spokesman Howard Xue said the company "cannot allow itself to be dragged into any political circus" and ruled out an appearance at the Senate hearing. (CPB/Sunnex)
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Lawmaker hits ZTE officials for arrogance (1:05 p.m.)