Press Release
February 10, 2008


The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee was urged today by Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) to summon Fu Yong, chairman of ZTE Corporation and Fan Yang, commercial attaché of the Chinese embassy in Manila to shed light on the participation of the Chinese government in the national broadband network (NBN) project that was awarded to ZTE by the Philippine government.

Pimentel took this move following the testimony of former government telecommunications consultant Rodolfo Lozada, Jr. that the $329 million ZTE contract was grossly overpriced and that up to $130 million of the amount would go to former Commission on Elections chairman Benjamin Abalos as commission for brokering the project.

"The Blue Ribbon Committee should now subpoena ZTE chairman Fu Yong and commercial attaché Fan Yang, who should shed his diplomatic immunity, if any. If they refuse to appear before the Senate, the government should deport Fu and declare Fan persona non grata," he said.

He said that Fu had earlier been summoned by the Blue Ribbon Committee but he failed to show up, with the members of the Office of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms (OSAA) unable to even locate his address in the country.

Pimentel said Fu and Fan would also be asked on the allegation that Abalos had already received a portion of his commission from ZTE even before its project proposal was approved by the Philippine government.

This was first revealed by businessman Jose de Venecia III, who represented the losing bidder Amsterdam Holdings Corp. in his testimony before the Senate last year. The same information was given by Lozada when he took the witness stand during the Senate hearing last week.

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