fuels GMA's eventual downfall - CPA
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's
continuing lack of decisive action to cancel the controversial &
corruption-driven ZTE National Broadband Network project will eventually
add to the longstanding call for her to step down, as the said deal
reflects Malacañang's hand in the project despite loud criticism
& questions raised both by the president's allies and critics.
The only reason for maintaining the ZTE deal despite
the credible revelations of businessman Jose De Venecia III are
the kickbacks & benefits Malacañang will reap from the
contract, especially since the $329 million project is said to be
overpriced by $130 million, which will go to those directly involved
such as COMELEC Chairman Abalos & Communications Sec. Mendoza.
The Senate & House Representatives are currently investigating
the contract due to the said overpricing, while the Supreme Court
has voted 8-7 to stop the implementation of the bribery-tainted
If Malacañang's interest over the deal is
proven further in coming investigations, Arroyo must be charged
with plunder & corruption, like the ousted president Estrada.
The situation is even aggravated by the involvement of First Gentleman
Mike Arroyo, whom De Venecia III earlier identified as the "mystery
man". Mike Arroyo could not have figured in the deal if not
for his wife the president.
GMA's knowledge of the NBN project is cited in media
reports when she witnessed the signing on April 21, 2006 in Boao,
China, & during the NEDA meeting on November 2006 where the
Cyber Corridor concept mentioned in her 2006 State of the Nation
Address was discussed.
The NBN contract is one of the target beneficiaries
of a $1.8-billion loan agreement between the Philippines & China.
The project aims to provide broadband services to all government
agencies nationwide by 2010. In GMA's 2006 SONA, it can be recalled
that telecommunications networking was specifically mentioned in
her Cyber Corridor concept, which "will boost telecommunications,
technology and education". In the same speech, GMA stressed
that ICT (Information Communication Technology) is a "key growth
factor," thus beefing up telecommunications infrastructure
in the country, including its market, more popularly known as call
Gabriela Women's Partylist Rep. Liza Maza said that
the scandals reportedly involving the First Gentleman now amount
to at least P16 billion, since his wife became president in 2001.
These include the Jose Pidal account later claimed by younger brother
& Negros Occidental Rep. Ignacio Arroyo involving P321 million;
the P728 million fertilizer fund scam, the irregular construction
of the Diosdado Macapagal Avenue & alleged jueteng payoffs.
The Arroyo government has managed to throw away
millions in this illegal deal while the Filipino people are plunged
in deep poverty & unemployment under this unbearable economic
crisis, ignoring calls for increased wages, such as the P125 across
the board wage hike demanded for since 2001, & basic services
These are more than enough to accuse the illegitimate
President and the First Gentleman of plunder and corruption.
GMA's credibility is again put on the line with
the explosive ZTE issue, on top of the revival of the Hello Garci
case, the illegitimacy of her presidency, the extrajudicial killings
& human rights violations her regime is accountable for. The
least yet sensible thing left for her to do is step down or face
an ouster. The NBN scandal, alongside the aforementioned issues,
is too much. GMA's ouster must be pursued, and she must be made
accountable for crimes against the Filipino people.
CORDILLERA PEOPLES ALLIANCE
Baguio City, Philippines
September 19, 2007
Cordillera Peoples Alliance