Neri, Ex-Speaker De Venecia called to testify vs Arroyo

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Former Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. (left) and former Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Romulo Neri

MANILA, Philippines—The Sandiganbayan has subpoenaed former Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Romulo Neri and former Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. to testify in the graft case against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Their testimonies are set for the first week of July in the antigraft court’s Fourth Division in connection with the controversial $329-million national broadband network (NBN) deal the government was to enter into with ZTE Corp. of China to provide cyber connectivity among all agencies of the government.

Arroyo is charged with two counts of graft and one count of violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees for allegedly having an unlawful interest in the deal that appeared to have been grossly overpriced.—Cynthia D. Balana

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