Press Release
October 4, 2007


The NBN deal is not dead! Contrary to what Malacañang spin doctors would have us believe, the contract with ZTE remains in effect. Under section 41.5.3 of the contract executed by the DOTC with ZTE, it says, "should the contractual state of equilibrium between the parties be materially distorted as a result of the prohibition, invalidity, unenforceability or illegality of any provision of this contract, the party not favored by such prohibition. Invalidity, unenforceability or illegality shall have the right to terminate this contract with immediate effect provided that prior written notice of said termination is given to the Party favored by such prohibition, invalidity, unenforceability or illegality."

What this means in layman's terms is that the ZTE contract remains valid. Malacanang continues to mislead the people. Written notice has not been given to the Chinese government. Otherwise they should produce it.

Given these circumstances, I strongly urge Senate President Villar and Senator Cayetano to set a definite date for the next hearing. They should not hold the Senate hostage to uncertainty. By keeping the NBN deal in limbo, the Senate President and Senator Cayetano are lending credence to the allegations against them that a powerful business tycoon with links to Malacanang co-opted the Senate Blue Ribbon from conducting hearings before the Senate break. Otherwise, patriotic senators may be compelled to take this matter up before the Ethics Committee, chaired ironically by Senator Pia Cayetano. Should this happen, delicadeza dictates that she resign her post and give it to a more impartial Senator. The integrity of the Senate as a whole should not be sacrificed because of the unethical conduct of a few. If Senators Villar and Cayetano have nothing to hide, their actions should speak for themselves. Their continued non-action speaks volumes in itself. The truth should not be stifled. The Filipino people deserve nothing less.

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