ZTE Corp. Says It Won't Attend Senate Probe

Manila Bulletin, February 15, 2008 | Go to article overview

ZTE Corp. Says It Won't Attend Senate Probe


Byline: JC BELLO RUIZ

Zhong Xing Telecommunications Equipment (ZTE) Corp. of China said yesterday it will not attend the Senate hearing on the controversial national broadband network (NBN) project as it has expressed readiness to file charges "against those behind its continuing vilification" over the shelved project.

In a statement, ZTE maintained that the project was never overpriced, adding that it is keeping the option to seek redress of grievance before the "proper juridical bodies."

"ZTE is not inclined to appear in the Philippine Senate's NBN hearings over non-issues which are turning foreign investors away from the Philippines and damaging bilateral Philippine-Chinese trade relations," ZTE said in an e-mailed statement to reporters.

"ZTE has neither done anything wrong nor has it bribed anyone to get this project. The ZTE NBN proposal stands on its own merit as sufficiently and ably defended by the DoTC (Department of Transportation and Communication) before the investigation of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.

"As to the Senate's summon for ZTE to appear in the hearing, ZTE cannot allow itself to be dragged into any political circus," the statement said.

ZTE described the allegations against the NBN contract as "sordid but unsubstantiated."

The company rebutted the claims of Senate witnesses Rodolfo Noel Lozada and Jose de Venecia III that the contract price was increased allegedly to accommodate bribes. "Mr. Lozada has no direct relation with ZTE Corporation. ZTE's proposal changed because it was required to cover the whole nation [from the original proposal of only 30 percent coverage," ZTE said.

"We have no doubt that any independent review panel - not the one convened by losing NBN proponent Mr. …

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