Press Release
February 26, 2008

Transcript of Sen. Pia Cayetano's interpellation of ZTE hearing witnesses Engr. Jun Lozada and Deputy Executive Secretary Manuel Gaite

SPSC: I'll just ask Jun Lozada first. Jun, in our previous hearing with Sec. Neri, among others, I asked all the resource persons then, Sec. Neri, Sec. Mendoza, Jarius Bondoc, etc., if they were called to any ["discreet"] investigation that the President supposedly called for. And they all replied in the negative. I'm asking you this in light of the interview that [Pres. Arroyo] gave earlier, that she was aware of an anomaly with the deal, and somewhat I recall, we don't have the actual transcripts, but we're not aware that she called for an investigation then, and the first time I heard of an investigation being called was the day [the senate] had a hearing on it although no one at our committee hearing knew of were aware of such investigation at that time. Do you remember that at that time? You were not here but do you remember that she called for an investigation at any point?

Jun Lozada: Ma'am as far as I know hindi naimbita si Sec. Neri or ako sa kahit anong imbestigasyon.

SPSC: And do you know of anyone in the Cabinet, or anyone in NEDA who was the subject of any sort of investigation?

Jun Lozada: As far as I know wala po akong nalaman na tinawag for any investigation

SPSC: Yun lang ang questions ko sa iyo sa ngayon. I'll direct my next questions kay Deputy Executive Secretary Gaite...

SPSC: When you first met with Jun about his concern about appearing before the Senate, had anyone briefed you about his predicament other than Sec. Neri just before he (?) to you?

Sec. Gaite: There is nobody ma'am.

SPSC: So everything you knew about Jun Lozada's case came from Jun himself?

Sec. Gaite: Opo.

SPSC: Pero yung reference came from?

Sec. Gaite: Sec. Romulo Neri

SPSC: And what did Sen. Romulo Neri specifically tell you?

Sec. Gaite: When I was receiving texts and missed calls of Sec. Neri, I called him and said, what is this about Sec? Is this about your appearance in the Senate? No, it is about Jun, can you help him? That's how it was.

SPSC: So ganun lang general?

Sec. Gaite: Opo

SPSC: Then after you have spoken to Jun about this concern of his, did you then report back to Sec. Neri or anyone else?

Sec. Gaite: Wala na po akong ano, I did not call back anymore Sec. Neri.

SPSC: Did you feel there was a need, in other words, it ended with you?

Sec. Gaite: Opo. Because my understanding with Jun was that, sabi ko, "Jun when you come back, you bring, you hold your papers and then I can analyze then I can maybe provide you with legal advice" because when he came to see me, he did not bring the yung mga invitation to the Senate.

SPSC: Then your next communication was through the text already where you say you thought that he was in London?

Sec. Gaite: Yes po, yun na po.

SPSC: Ano yung (?) of time?

Sec. Gaite: Our meeting in Malacañang was January 29. He left [January] 30, 31, [February] 1, 2. the next communication was the text, early in the morning of February 2.

SPSC: So then as we know now, you loaned him P500,000 through his brother. My question to you is: Did you loan him this as a friend, or as a colleague in government service? What went through your mind as you decided to lend him?

Sec. Gaite: I lent it to him because he is Jun Lozada.

SPSC: Jun Lozada, the man who was trying to avoid the Senate hearing? Because that is who Jun Lozada was at that time...

Sec. Gaite: Jun Lozada that I know.

SPSC: Which is really a colleague in a desperate situation?

Sec. Gaite: Yes your honor.

SPSC: So it would be safe to say that you're probably helping him as a colleague?

Sec. Gaite: Yes your honor.

SPSC: But as such, it didn't occur to you to ask for the clearance from your boss?

Sec. Gaite: It did not occur to me anymore your honor to clear it with my boss.

SPSC: But did it occur to you to clear everything else with your family, since you were using what would have been family fund?

Sec. Gaite: I discussed that with my wife.

SPSC: After you decided to give him the money, and again, you mentioned that you didn't ask any colleague, did anyone in Malacañang or the administration offered to help you as a colleague? Did anyone want to do the same, or share the cost of the sum that you gave him?

Sec. Gaite: None your honor.

SPSC: And what kind of discussion, if any, did you have with you principal, Executive Secretary Ermita?

Sec. Gaite: It only occurred your honor on the 17th by phone, and on the 18th I gave him my written explanation.

SPSC: And that's it? Just a written explanation? Wala nang kasunod iyon, hindi na kayo nagtawagan?

Sec. Gaite: Hindi na po ma'am. Because the following day, when I went to the office, I saw my boss and showed him a copy of the statement I released.

SPSC: And before appearing in the Senate, you were not briefed, you did not have any consultation with people in Malacañang as to what kind of statement you should make?

Sec. Gaite: No, I was the one who prepared the statement

SPSC: But you did not consult? I would think, if I went to the Senate, I would consult with anyone who could help me figure out how to present my case. You did not consult anyone at all?

Sec. Gaite: I did not.

SPSC: Even if I'm a lawyer, I would consult with a lawyer, you did not consult with any lawyer either?

Sec. Gaite: I did not eh.

SPSC: Now let me ask you, why would the sisters and priests be praying for you? What would their prayer be?

Sec. Gaite: I don't know your honor, I cannot think... (Exchange elicits laughter from gallery)

SPSC: [Addressing the Chairman] I'm thinking that since these are people personally related to [Usec Gaite], when I ask people to pray for [him],I tell them this is what I pray for. So I'm just curious if he cares to shares with us what it is they're praying for.

Sec. Gaite: They just send their text message that they are praying for me, that's all.

SPSC: Let me just wrap up by saying that I do not know you personally but I'm told that you are honorable, and you have served as well four presidents. Does your sense of serving include coming up with a story that would content certain interest of your principal? Or maybe coming up with a story too strong, it would include making a statement that would protect your principal?

Sec. Gaite: No your honor.

SPSC: And you say that as an honorable and god-fearing person?

Sec. Gaite: Yes your honor.

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