Press Release
March 4, 2008

Transcript of Senator Mar Roxas' interview in ANC's Dateline Philippines

Q: What are your expectations in this afternoon's oral arguments?

MAR: We are petitioners here in this case to define really when Executive Privilege can be properly used. As it is right now, we believe that Executive Privilege is being used to cover up information or to keep information from coming out to the public relative to the anomalies of ZTE-NBN.

Q: Sir, while Senators are coming in full force, we receive word from the lawyer of Secretary Neri that he will not be attending this afternoon's proceedings, your reactions to that, sir?

MAR: Well, it's up to him. We are here to fight for our right, our right to know the truth, our right that Executive Privilege not be abused in order to cover up anomalies, our right to ensure that the public interest prevails over personal or individual interests.

Q: Why is it significant Senator Roxas for the Supreme Court to be able to decide on this matter as soon as possible, would you asked SC to decide on this case within the day?

MAR: Well, we don't expect that they'll decide this within the day but we would expect and we would hope that they will decide this at the soonest time, in order to avoid precisely the stalemate or the deadlock as between the executive branch and the legislative branch. We have the beginnings of a Constitutional crisis here and this is all burn out because the executive will not release information that properly belongs to the public domain. This information, for example, is the NEDA transcripts on how they were able to decide to go ahead with this NBN-ZTE deal even if it is the complete opposite of what the President herself said was the policy of the government, as recently as October before the approval of this. At that time when the President said that it must be BOT, there must be no government loan, there must be no government guarantee, and the government must not be the principal customer of this project. And then, four or five months later, Abrakadabra bumaliktad na ito. Naging government project ito, nagging government utang ito, nagging may government guarantee ito, at government ang siyang pinakamalaking customer nito. Ano ang nangyari? Anong mirakulo ang nangyari na napaligtad itong government policy na ang Pangulo ang mismong nagsasabi, dumedepensa noong Oktubre at noong pagdating noong Pebrero at Marso ay nabaligtad na?

Q: The discussion on the policy of the government in terms of the ZTE-Broadband deal is actually what Sec. Neri is saying as included in the privilege communications between him and the President which is apparently the Senate is contesting.

MAR: We are contesting that because what possible military, diplomatic or national interest can be protected here? This is a conversation as between Sec. Neri and the President when Sec. Neri informed the President that a bribe was offered into him. So there is no diplomatic, or military, or national interest here. He reported a crime under our Penal Code, the attempted bribery is already a crime. He reported the crime and we wanted to know what's the President's response and what was the President's reaction relative to that report of the crime, that's the first. Second, what were the deliberations in NEDA? What was the recommendation? What were the considerations that were made that a government policy was overturned in a matter of months in order to accommodate a contract that we are now seen as imbued with anomaly.

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