In the continuing saga of the ZTE-NBN broadband case, more inconsistencies are emerging. However, they’re not coming from star Senate witness Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada, as the administration and former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chair Ben Abalos would have us believe. The inconsistencies are coming from the President herself.
On a radio show a few days ago, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo admitted that there were flaws in the ZTE-NBN deal that were discovered a day before the signing. If this was so, then:
· Why did she sign the deal if it was flawed?
· Why did it take her five months to cancel the deal?
· Why did she give the reason then as “political noise” and not the flaws in the deal?
· Why did her underlings, notably Transportation and Communications Secretary Leandro Mendoza, testify before the Senate that the deal was above board?
These inconsistencies have yet to be adequately addressed by the government, which is moving heaven and earth to discredit and intimidate those who revealed some of the flaws, and are callhing for the President’s ouster. The only answer I’ve heard so far is that the deal was signed because the flaws were only discovered a day before, and weren’t proven then. But, since there was suspicion of flaws in the broadband deal, shouldn’t the government have thought twice about signing the deal? So what if the other side of the deal was China? Shouldn’t the government have thought it through before entering into what was apparently a flawed deal?
The other official retort, parroted by the most government officials, is that the deal was cancelled, so why continue investigating the deal? Well, the answer to that is that some skulduggery has occurred, and someone must be made accountable for it. Unfortunately, our Senators are more interested in gaining electoral mileage rather than getting to the truth, so the investigation doesn’t look like it’ll go anywhere.
In reaction to the corruption scandal, the President has ordered a probe of the deal, and promised that no friend or relative will be above the law. Of course, this is almost the same as former President Joseph Estrada’s “Walang kamag-anak, walang kaibigan” spiel, and we all know how that turned out. The other problem is that we have seen numerous officials, Abalos, Garcillano, Bedol, et al, escape punishment under this administration, so GMA will have to forgive those of us who take her words with a huge grain of salt.
However, it’s also clear that, despite all of the damning evidence, the President will not be removed voluntarily, and certainly not by impeachment, as her kennel master, Speaker Prospero Nograles, has virtually assured that her lapdog Representatives will sit up on command.
It’s sad that all of this is coming out during the 22nd anniversary of the first EDSA revolution, when Filipinos united against a tyrant. It’s sad because it’s clear we have not learned our history lessons, and are well on the way to repeating our mistakes.