MANILA, Philippines -- Senate Majority Floor Leader Francis Pangilinan said Wednesday that he was not completely sold on the credibility of the new witness in the Senate inquiry into the botched $329-million contract with China's ZTE Corp., saying he is too relaxed.
Dante Madriaga, who claims to be a consultant of the NBN project for ZTE, told senators Tuesday that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, her husband, Jose Miguel Arroyo, among others, were part of the ?greedy group? that allegedly benefited from the agreement.
"Hindi pa tayo kumbinsido sa kredibilidad ni Madriaga. Masyado siyang relaxed. Para bagang hindi siya kinakabahan bagaman malaking tao ang inaakusahan niya. Derecho niyang inaakusahan sina PGMA at FG ngunit kung ikukumpara kay Jun Lozada, kataka-taka bakit parang di siya kinakabahan at relaxed [We're not convinced about Madriaga's credibility. He's too relaxed. It's as if he's not even nervous when he's accusing big people. He directly accused President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and First Gentleman because compared to Rodolfo Noel 'Jun' Lozada, it's curious why he doesn't seem afraid and is relaxed)," he said.
Pangilinan warned against buying Madriaga's testimony and said that the new witness might be a ?Trojan Horse,? which in Greek mythology was a wooden horse that was given by the Greeks to the Trojans as part of their trap to lay siege on the city of Troy.
"Huwag tayong basta-basta magpapaniwala at baka pakawala ng nais manlinlang at lituhin ang proseso. Baka sa huling banda magbaliktad siya at sabihin lang siyang pinatestigo laban sa Pangulo upang sirain ang kredibilidad ng Senate hearings. Dapat maging mapagbantay ang taumbayan [Let's not believe right away because he might have been let loose to fool and confuse the process. In the end, he might flip-flop and say he was told to testify against the President to destroy the credibility of the Senate hearings]," he added.
On Tuesday, Madriaga testified that as an electrical engineer, he designed the national broadband network project for ZTE Corp. He claimed that his boss, Leo San Miguel, and ZTE disbursing officer Fan Yang, told him that the Chinese company had advanced $41 million to brokers of the contract.
These brokers, Madriaga told the Senate, included resigned poll chief Benjamin Abalos, Ruben Reyes, retired general Quirino Dela Torre, San Miguel, and the First Couple.