Posted by: nupl | November 11, 2007

Lawyers laud SC decision on NBN deal; TRO should bar Palace, ZTE from engaging in open, discreet talks to save deal— NUPL

September 11, 2007

Press Release

The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) today lauded the Supreme Court decision banning the government from implementing the controversial $USD 329 million National Broadband Network (NBN) project.

In a press statement, the lawyers’ group said the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the high tribunal should also refrain Malacañang and China’s ZTE Corp. from engaging in open or discreet talks in order save the controversial NBN project from cancellation. “The NUPL welcomes the SC decision in stopping the national government and the ZTE Corp from pursuing an ambitious project checkered with high crimes of corruption involving the most powerful and influential officials of the Macapagal-Arroyo government,” the NUPL said.

The NUPL further said the decision of SC should be considered as a legal victory and a political premium as well, adding that the high tribunal’s decision would have positive bearing on the part affected parties and the Filipino public in general in case they plan to file criminal, administrative and other appropriate charges against those who engineered the NBN deal.

The NUPL said aside from Commission on Elections (Comelec) Benjamin Abalos Sr. who allegedly brokered the deal, other government officials such as President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and DOTC secretary Leandro Mendoza should be held accountable in the anomalous NBN project.

“President Arroyo should be held as the principal author of the NBN project. Her signing of the NBN deal in China last April 21, 2007 raises serious questions on her involvement and culpability that a super crime of corruption was committed to the detriment of the Filipino public. Commissioner Abalos and Mendoza on the other hand, are seemed as playing their supporting roles to the hilt in this crime of corruption,” the lawyers’ group added.

Atty. Neri Javier Colmenares, NUPL Preparatory Committee said the decision of the highest court of the land which also ordered the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) to comment on the petition filed by Amsterdam Holdings Inc. should rally the Senate and the House of Representatives to pursue separate or joint congressional inquiries on the scam-ridden, scandal-rich NBN deal.

“The SC decision should further encourage Congress to seriously undertake a full-blown congressional inquiry on the NBN project. It is a step forward toward blocking or nullifying one of the most corrupt contracts the Arroyo government has entered into with a profit-starved foreign client in very, very recent years,” the NUPL lawyer said. #

For Reference: Atty. Neri Colmenares, NUPL preparatory committee member



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