Disini: No go-between in nuclear power plant contract
In a statement, Disini’s lawyer Jose Bernas said Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist and retired Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban had “maliciously” claimed that his client had violated the antigraft law by brokering the BNPP contract.
“Disini was named a special sales representative by Westinghouse and not a go-between which implies that the awarding of the project to Westinghouse was obtained irregularly and would not have been given had Disini not been the go-between,” Bernas said.
Disini has filed a libel suit against Panganiban for the article in the Inquirer and for “wanton distortions and reckless disregard of facts.”
In a reply to Panganiban’s counteraffidavit dated June 1, Disini said the retired magistrate “maliciously ascribed to me the commission of a crime, particularly corruption of a public official and violation of the antigraft law,” by referring to him as Westinghouse’s “go-between with Marcos.”
He claimed Panganiban intentionally misquoted a 1991 New Jersey court resolution “to make it appear that the New Jersey court had found Disini guilty of bribery.”
“In fact, the final decision of the court in 1993 dismissed all claims against Westinghouse and Disini and found no evidence of bribery or illegality,” Bernas said.
Disini also accused the Inquirer of refusing to publish his two letters in response to Panganiban’s article “After 35 Years Still Languishing,” which came out in his column, With Due Respect, on March 27, 2011.
The lawyer said his client had also been absolved of any complicity in several criminal cases filed in courts in the United States, Switzerland and the Philippines in connection with the BNPP deal.
But on April 11 this year, the Sandiganbayan ruled that Disini’s $50.6-million commission from the deal was “ill gotten” and ordered him to return it to the government.
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