Press Release
September 11, 2007


Opposition Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero today said both parties squabbling over the national broadband network (NBN) deal is liable under the anti-graft and practices law of the country, which provides more reason for the immediate cancellation of the controversial deal.

Escudero, who was among the first to call for the quashing of the deal for its anomalous and scandalous nature said that Joey De Venecia, founder of Amsterdam Holdings Inc. (AHI) that lost the bid to build the NBN, should have not qualified in bidding for the contract under the country's anti-graft law.

Under Section 5 of the Anti-Graft and Corruption Practices Act "it shall be unlawful for the spouse or for any relative by consanguinity or affinity, within the third civil degree of the President of the Philippines, Vice-President of the Philippines, Philippine Senate President, Speaker of the House, to intervene directly or indirectly, in any business, transaction, contract or application with the government."

Joey De Venecia is the youngest son of House Speaker Jose De Venecia by former wife Victoria Perez.

While the younger De Venecia could be credited for spilling the beans on the way the deal was immorally brokered by COMELEC chairman Benjamin Abalos, he cannot be regarded as an objective witness and whistle blower. "For one, because he is a losing bidder and he has all the bias reasons to cry out. But Joey De Venecia is not without dirt on his hands when he tried cornering the deal. The fact that he is a son of the House Speaker should have refrained him from dipping his hands into any government contracts."

Escudero said the NBN contract is "rotten to the core with all parties involved supplying the molds." He reiterated his earlier call to totally abandon the deal. "The stink of this contract is too atrocious to bear already. It should be discarded immediately without prejudice to pursuing legal cases against erring officials who figured in the said deal."

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