[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 26 September 2007 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Wed Sep 26 18:28:02 PHT 2007

Newsbriefs 26 September 2007 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



Neri: Abalos offered me '200' (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


Romulo Neri, former National Economic and Development Authority head, on Wednesday confirmed allegations that Commission on Elections Chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr. offered him money to favor ZTE Corp.'s proposal for the national broadband network (NBN) project of the government.


Neri, attending the Senate investigation into the NBN deal for the first time, said Abalos "whispered" the offer to him while they were riding in a golf cart during a golf game. He said the game took place after a meeting with ZTE Corp.'s Chinese officials at the Wack-Wack Golf and Country Club in Mandaluyong City.


"There was something he said that surprised me, 'Sec, may 200 ka dito (Secretary, you have 200 [in this deal]),'" Neri said. 


Neri mum on NBN deal conversations with Arroyo (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


After dropping the bomb on Commission on Elections Chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr., Commission on Higher Education Chairman Romulo Neri refused to divulge details of his "additional" conversations with President Arroyo about the controversial national broadband network (NBN) deal.


"May I claim executive privilege, your honor, because I think this already involves conversations between me and the President," Neri replied to Sen. Francis Pangilinan when asked if he had further conversations with Mrs. Arroyo about the NBN deal.


Pangilinan accepted the request as he and other senators have yet to agree on what actions should be made by the three Senate committees that are investigating the NBN deal, when executive privilege is invoked during the proceedings.


Abalos says Neri could have brokered NBN deal (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


Commission on Elections Chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr. on Wednesday slammed Romulo Neri, former director of the National Economic and Development Authority, for allegedly assuring support for a national broadband network (NBN) proposal submitted by the company of the House Speaker's son.


Abalos, who attended the Senate hearing on the $329-million NBN contract between the Philippine government and China's ZTE Corp., also pointed out that the NEDA letter expressing support for the "objectives of the proposal" made by Amsterdam Holdings Inc. can be used to make money. 


"If there is any brokering here, it was done by Secretary Neri," Abalos said. His remark drew laughter from the gallery.


House opposition asked to file impeach raps vs Abalos (INQUIRER.net)

 MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATE 2) The Bayan Muna partylist group will ask the opposition bloc at the House of Representatives to prepare an impeachment complaint against Commission on Elections Chairman Benjamin Abalos.

"Congress now has enough basis to impeach Abalos. It is the political will to do it that is now needed," Bayan Muna Representative Teodoro Casiño said in a statement.

"Bayan Muna will ask the minority today [Wednesday] to prepare such a complaint," he said.

(UPDATE) Estrada asks Sandiganbayan to reverse conviction (INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines -- Former president Joseph Estrada has filed a motion for reconsideration asking the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court's special division to reverse its September 12 verdict convicting him of plunder.

In his motion, Estrada, through his lawyers, said the court erred when it convicted him by acquitted his alleged co-conspirators.

The motion also said Estrada had been denied his right to be presumed innocent and had been convicted "on the basis of surmises, inferences and speculative evidence," and that "the court had pyramided inference upon inference to build a case for conviction against President Estrada."

"This cannot be done under our rules of evidence," it stressed.

"The crime of plunder is basically a crime involving conspiracy by many persons, and the two alleged conspirators of President Estrada, namely, Attorney Edward Serapio and Senator [Jose] Jinggoy Estrada, were acquitted by the court. Due to the failure of the information to include the other co-conspirators, this is fatal to the prosecution," the motion said

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