SC rejects Aquino-Roxas petition vs broadband deal

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The Supreme Court (SC() has dismissed a petition filed by President Benigno Aquino 3rd and Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd seeking full disclosure of a broadband deal between the Arroyo administration and China’s ZTE Corp.

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In a six-page resolution of the SC en banc, dated June 10, 2014, the tribunal threw out the petition for certiorari and mandamus filed by Aquino and Roxas during their incumbency as senators.

The resolution was signed and promulgated by lawyer Enriqueta Vidal, Clerk of Court of the SC en banc.

Aquino and Roxas on October 26, 2007 asked the SC to nullify a letter of then-Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita justifying refusal of then-Director General Augusto Santos of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to make the broadband deal public.

Santos cited executive privilege.

Aquino and Roxas also wanted the court to compel Santos to comply with a subpoena duces tecum of the Senate on October 3, 2007 and for the then-NEDA chief to submit all pertinent information and documents on the broadband deal.

The SC en banc, however, said they had made a ruling regarding executive privilege on March 25, 2008, when another then-NEDA director general, Romulo Neri, invoked the same.

The 15-man tribunal noted that the cases of Neri and Santos are almost the same and the petition filed by Aquino and Roxas must fail.

The broadband deal was a contract for supply of equipment and services worth around P16 billion.

Its signing was supposedly witnessed by then-President Gloria Arroyo.

The deal would have been financed through a loan from the Export-Import Bank of China and was approved by NEDA on March 29, 2007.

Hounded by allegations of corruption that linked the Office of the President, it was eventually canceled by Arroyo.

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