Presidential Communications Operations Office

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PGMA orders probe to pinpoint personalities liable for violation of anti-graft law on ZTE

Manila (9 February) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo directed Thursday the Department of Justice (DOJ) to conduct an investigation to pinpoint those who may be held liable for violation of the procurement and anti-graft laws in connection with the cancelled national broadband network (NBN)-ZTE project.

In a statement, Press Secretary Ignacio R. Bunye said the President also directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to discuss with members of both Houses of Congress the possibility of entering into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on the service of warrants by Congress.

Bunye also said that the President was not affected by the hullabaloo surrounding the return to the country of Rodolfo Lozada Jr., the president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Philippine Forest Corporation (PFC), a government agency under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

In a press conference at dawn today (Thursday), Lozada announced his resignation as PFC chief.

Bunye told a press conference at the New Executive Building (NEB) in the Malacanang complex today that the President was going about her "normal work."

"I don't think this will distract the President too much," Bunye said, referring to the controversy surrounding Lozada's alleged abduction upon his arrival Tuesday from Hong Kong.

Bunye also downplayed the continuing investigations in the Senate, particularly those orchestrated by opposition Senators Panfilo Lacson and Alan Peter Cayetano.

The spate of Lacson-Cayetano investigations, Bunye said, "just betrayed the real intent behind these investigations supposedly in aid of legislation."

"They are not after truth and justice, and making laws. They simply cannot wait for the 2010 elections and they want to bring this government down now," he said.

Bunye also dismissed speculations that Lozada's revelations at his press conference would create political unrest: "Pagod na ang tao sa unrest, unrest…"

"Kahit papaano, umu-unlad ang bansa… more than any other Philippine President has accomplished," he said.

"Nililinaw lang. Minsan, 'di malinaw ang pagre-report…" Bunye lamented.

On the continuing Senate inquiry into the ZTE broadband project, which President Arroyo had scrapped, Bunye noted that the Senate still has to come up with legislations based on its endless investigations "in aid of grandstanding."

"Huwag na nating gatungan ang grandstanding. Sobra na. Iwasan na natin itong mga pointless investigations na wala namang kahihinatnan," Bunye urged.

"Maliwanag na pulitika lang ang motibo. Walang maipakitang legislation…" added Bunye.

The presidential spokesman added that "if there is any clear evidence of wrongdoing," the appropriate forum would be the courts, particularly the Sandiganbayan or the Ombudsman." (OPS) [top]

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