MANILA, Philippines -- Senator Panfilo Lacson will present a new witness next week before the Senate that is investigating the allegedly tainted national broadband network project, his colleague in the opposition said Thursday.
And that person has ?direct information on the acceptance of money from ZTE sources,? Senate Minority Floor Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. said during the Kapihan sa Senado.
ZTE refers to the Chinese telecommunications firm that signed a $329 million contract with the government that seeks to connect all state agencies via the Internet.
When asked if he has a new witness, Lacson, who dropped by the Kapihan, answered: ?Oo naman [Of course].? The senator left shortly after, refusing to answer anymore questions.
When pressed, Pimentel, to whom Lacson shared the information, said the new witness allegedly knew who received the advances from ZTE Corp.
?[The new witness] appears to have personal knowledge,? he said.
Pimentel also refused to answer more questions about the new witness, including the person?s gender or affiliation (whether a government or a private official). He even referred to the new witness as ?it? to hide the gender.
?Under other circumstances, I will not hide the identity from you, but 'it' might receive pressure from other interested parties,? he said.
Pimentel said the new witness also appeared to be a willing one because there was no need for a subpoena to be issued by the Senate to ensure ?its? attendance.