The recent resignation of Benjamin Abalos from his post as Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman was meant to take the steam off the controversy surrounding the anomalous National Broadband Network (NBN) deal between the Philippine government and China’s ZTE Corp. Abalos is accused of having brokered the deal and even bribing rival bidders and a government official to ram the contract through. With his resignation, the Senate probe on the NBN deal assumed a slower pace with Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano postponing it for almost a month. The former Comelec chairman thus appears to have been made into the proverbial sacrificial lamb to protect other officials – especially President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who approved the NBN project even as she was fully aware of the anomalous transactions that transpired in the process.
BY FLON FAURILLO
Vol. VII, No. 35, October 7-13, 2007