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Dureza dares Roque to file suit vs ZTE mining MoU

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 15:10:00 09/11/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Press Secretary Jesus Dureza has dared lawyer Harry Roque to file a constitutional challenge to a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the government and China’s ZTE Corp. for mining on Mt. Diwalwal in Mindanao.

At the same time, Dureza claimed Roque’s “carpet bombing” tactic of exposing alleged anomalies in government is meant to further political ambitions in the 2010 general elections.

Roque, a law professor at the University of the Philippines, has threatened to file charges against Trade Secretary Peter Favila, who signed the MoU, saying the agreement violated the Constitution.

“I dare him to file a constitutional challenge to the MoU and I will be the lawyer of Secretary Favila, to take the constitutional debate [to] the highest levels,” Dureza told a news conference at the Palace.

Favila said there was no deal to begin with because the MoU was not binding.

“This ZTE can’t seem to really come to an end. They’re talking of deals, what deal? [Environment] Secretary Atienza told them there is nothing to cancel, there is no contract awarded,” Favila said.

Favila was referring to the government’s botched $329-milion contract with ZTE Corp. for the national broadband project, which was tainted with bribery allegations.

The trade chief described Roque’s moves as “mediagenics.”

“This is part of the program of demonizing this administration. They will take me to the Ombudsman and the SC [Supreme Court], by all means,” Favila said.

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Written by joelguinto

ThuUTC2008-09-11T09:08:56+00:00UTC09bUTCThu, 11 Sep 2008 09:08:56 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am09

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