Whistleblower in allegedly anomalous telecoms deal testifies
MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE) A key witness in the $329-million telecommunications contract by the government with a Chinese firm testified Thursday that then former Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Romulo Neri approved the agreement in exchange for “P200 million.”
Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada told a local court that former Commission on Elections chief Benjamin Abalos informed him that he would give Neri “P200 million” after the contract was approved.
Lozada said he mentioned this to Neri, who had no violent reaction.
But upon questioning by Neri's lawyer, Lozada admitted that Neri had no pecuniary interest in the National Broadband Networking-ZTE
Prosecutors then asked Lozada if he could tell from Neri's actuations that the government official had some interest in the project, and the witness just said that the project was approved simply by Neri.
Lozada’s testimony came five days after he and his family decided to move out of La Salle Greenhills and back into their house in San Juan.
In his statement before the Senate in 2008, Lozada had implicated Neri and Abalos in the allegedly anomalous contract, forcing the two to resign from their jobs.
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