mula sa abs cbn news:
(UPDATE) Joey De Venecia confirms $10M bribe offer
The son of House Speaker Jose de Venecia, co-founder of one of the losing bidders in the controversial National Broadband Network (NBN) deal with the ZTE Corp. has broken his silence on allegations of bribery hounding the contract.
Joey de Venecia, a majority stockholder of Amsterdam Holdings Incorporated (AHI) admitted that Commission on Elections Chairman Benjamin Abalos offered him $10 million to let the Chinese firm ZTE corner the multi-billion peso deal.
“Sabi niya, Joey, umatras ka na lang bigyan kita $10 million (He said, Joey, just back out I will give you $10 million),” the AHI co-founder said.
The younger De Venecia said he was shocked with the offer but he immediately declined the money which was equivalent to almost P500 million.
“Our proposal is a very good proposal. Secondly, two of my partners are from countries that are very sensitive to foreign corrupt practices,” he said.
Abalos, who was the alleged broker of the broadband network deal, declined to comment on the issue. He wanted to watch first the statement issued by the younger de Venecia.
However, Joey de Venecia admitted that he does not hold any evidence to prove that he was indeed bribed by the poll body chairman. He added that he has no reason to lie about the matter.
“It’s his word against mine on the bribe of $10 million. On the fact that were sour-graping—no, I’m not sour-graping,” said de Venecia.
He clarified that he only wanted the truth to come out regarding the questionable broadband deal and he is not involved with lawmakers or sectors who wanted to remove Abalos.
The controversial P16 billion NBN-ZTE contract has reached Congress, the Ombudsman, and the Supreme Court for the high-tech internet network for the government.
According to de Venecia, the project could have been completed with only $130 million but he believed that it was overpriced to give room for kickbacks.
He also expressed his willingness to testify in any investigation on the NBN deal.
China willing to investigate
China on Thursday said it may be willing to investigate the ZTE Corporation over allegations of overpricing and kickbacks in its multi-million dollar deal with the Philippine government.
ABS-CBN Australia News Bureau correspondent Gigi Grande said Liu Jien Chao, the Chinese foreign ministry’s spokesman, said while he is not privy to details of the deal, in principle China takes allegations of corruption seriously.
“We are firm in fighting against any kind of corruption no matter if it happened in the government or any of the enterprises so and also we are against any corruption that cropped up in bilateral trade relations with our trade partners, so we’re firm on that,” he told ABS-CBN News during an interview in Sydney prior to the start of the Asia Pacific Economic Conference Summit.
“I think if the Philippine side will raise this issue with the Chinese side, the Chinese side will look seriously into this,” Liu added.
China is bent on cleaning up its image. It has been cracking down on both government and corporate corruption. Early this year, the Corruption Prevention Bureau was formed.
Trade Secretary Peter Favila, meanwhile, said if the Philippine government wants to back out of the national broadband network project, it would be no big deal to the Chinese.
“I don’t think its going to be an issue or get in the way of our relations with China. These are ordinary business proposals,” he said.
While admitting that he is the “China-man” in charge of strengthening and broadening economic ties with China, Favila said he had nothing to do with the controversial deal.
He said it was Secretary Leandro Mendoza of the Department of Transportation and Communications who pushed for the deal.
“The proponent was DOTC. DOTC is the one that is going to explain everything.”
The controversial $329-million deal drew flak after critics said it was approved by the Philippine government without going through public bidding. The winning contractor was Chinese state-owned ZTE Corp. With a report from Jing Castañeda
NBN, ano ba talaga ito? utang na loob, dadagdagan nyo nanaman ang utang ng bayan… biruin nyo? 329 milyong dolyares, babayaran ng taong bayan sa loob ng 20 na taon…
Hindi ba natin pwedeng gamitin ang mga ating mga sariling infrastraktura upang maisaituparan ang NBN? bakit kailangang ibang bansa pa ang kumontrata sa sa ganyang proyekto na meron naman tayong sapat kapabilidad upang maimplemento ang NBN…
Hindi ba puro kickback at pagpapataba ng bulsa nanaman nag hangarin nyo dyan sa proyekto na yan? Pera ng taong bayan ang inyong nilulustay at ibinubulsa, hindi ang sarili nyong pawis at pinag hihirapan…
Ang pinagtataka ko lang, bakit dawit ang ating pinuno sa Comelec sa nasabing eskandalo? Bakit sya may partisipasyon sa nasabing NBN-ZTE Deal? Wala na ba syang dapat gawin sa Comelec lalo ngayong lumalapit ang eleksyong panglokal?
Sa huling balita na aking napanood sa telebisyon, naisaiwalat na ang “mystery man” na sabit sa ZTE-NBN Deal. Hindi na ako magtataka na damay ang asawa ng ating presidente, madaming scam, eskandalo at expose na rin na sya ay naituro.
Sa bandang huli, tayo pa rin ang maghihirap na bayaran ang utang na ito samantalang ang ating gobyerno ang makikinabang sa nasabing proyekto… habang tayo ay nag titiis na gumamit ng mga prepaid cards, dial-up o kaya’y nagpupyat sa mga internet cafe, sila nama’y magpapasarap sa kanilang mga upisina (at maaring pati mga bahay nila) sa mabilis na fasilidad pangkomyunikasyon gamit ang ating pinaghihirapang buwis…