Government to call Arroyo execs in graft case vs AbalosPhilippine Daily Inquirer
State prosecutors have asked the Sandiganbayan to subpoena several officials of the Arroyo administration to testify in a graft case against former Commission on Elections Chairman Benjamin Abalos in connection with the controversial national broadband network (NBN) deal.
The Ombudsman’s Office of the Special Prosecutor sought a subpoena from the antigraft court as well for former ZTE Corp. consultant Dante Madriaga and businessman Ruben Reyes.
The former government officials were then Finance Secretary Margarito Teves, Trade Secretary Peter Favila and Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees president Ferdinand Gaite.
They were called to the next hearings on Abalos’ case on March 5 and 6.
Abalos is being tried for graft for allegedly intervening in the NBN-ZTE deal, which was not part of his duties as elections chief, during the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The proposed $329-million contract with China’s ZTE Corp. to interconnect the entire bureaucracy on the web was eventually canceled by Arroyo after allegations of overpricing and bribery cropped up involving her husband and other government officials.
His coaccused are Arroyo, her husband Jose Miguel Arroyo and former Transportation Secretary Leandro Mendoza. The case has yet to go to trial. Leila B. Salaverria