JDV ready to testify after bout with flu


BY WENDELL VIGILIA

PANGASINAN Rep. Jose de Venecia yesterday said he is ready to tell everything he knows about the anomalous $329 million national broadband network deal with China’s ZTE Corp.

“I reiterate my commitment to testify in the Senate,” the former Speaker said.

He noted he needed time to recuperate from “influenza and fatigue” after attending an energy forum in Russia.

De Venecia has said he was just waiting for the “perfect” opportunity to reveal his knowledge about the negotiations in the broadband project, which he said may be enough to cause the downfall of the Arroyo administration.

De Venecia said he will have a comprehensive check-up next week to prepare for a “protracted issue that may last up to three months.”

“I have to make sure that I’m in good shape because I have so many things to say,” he said.

In a privilege speech on the eve of his ouster as Speaker last Feb. 5, De Venecia said the NBN controversy, which involves at least P6 billion in kickbacks, “is putting Malacañang ever closer to the center of a firestorm.”

De Venecia also recited a litany of allegations against the President, which included massive cheating in 2004 elections.

De Venecia accompanied President Arroyo and Mike Arroyo to Shenzhen, China supposedly to play golf with officials of ZTE Corp., one of the proponents of the broadband project, in December 2006.

Malacañang has said the President has no reason to be threatened by De Venecia’s pronouncements and even warned that he might incriminate himself in his bid to get back at the President.

De Venecia’s political relationship with the President turned sour after his son Joey, co-owner of Amsterdam Holdings Inc., told the Senate which was also interested in the broadband project, that Mike Arroyo told him to “back off” from the project.(Malaya)

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