Palace: De Venecia lobbied for son
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang turned the tables on Pangasinan Representative Jose de Venecia Jr., saying he “brazenly asked” for Transportation Secretary Leandro Mendoza’s approval of his son’s bid for the botched National Broadband Network (NBN) project.
Mendoza also said De Venecia could be charged with graft for allowing his son to bid for government projects, a violation of Section 5 of the Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
“JDV [De Venecia] himself intervened and exerted his influence for the approval of his son’s Amsterdam Holdings’ BOT [build-operate-transfer] proposal,” Mendoza said in a statement released by the Palace.
“In a letter addressed and delivered to DoTC [Department of Transportation and Communication] Secretary Mendoza, JDV, through a certain Sonny Garcia, brazenly asked for DoTC’s unconditional endorsement of Amsterdam Holdings’ BOT proposal to NEDA [National Economic Development Authority],” the statement said.
“JDV twists and turns, misleads and misdirects,” Mendoza said.
Mendoza said De Venecia’s statement before an impeachment hearing that First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo lobbied for Chinese firm ZTE Corp.’s bid for the broadband project was “farthest from the truth.”
He said that as early as October 2006, the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) endorsed the government-to-government proposal of ZTE Corp.
De Venecia had claimed that over lunch and a golf game with ZTE officials in Shenzen, China in early November, Mr. Arroyo prodded the President to approve the ZTE bid.
Mendoza added that Amsterdam Holdings was a “shell company” that had “no money, no telecommunications franchise, no technical knowledge, or competence.”
The young De Venecia initiated the impeachment complaint against Arroyo, which on Wednesday was dismissed by the House Justice Committee due to insufficiency in substance.
He had accused the First Gentleman of warning him to “back off,” and ex-elections commissioner Benjamin Abalos of trying to bribe him, so that he would drop his bid for the NBN project.
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