WHAT WENT BEFORE: PH deal with China’s ZTE Corp.
On April 21, 2007, the Philippine government signed the $329-million National Broadband Network (NBN) deal with China’s ZTE Corp. during then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s 12-hour visit to China to attend the Boao Forum for Asia.
The NBN-ZTE deal was signed at the VIP room of the Haikou Meilan International Airport in Hainan, China, just as the Philippine delegation that attended the forum, including Arroyo, was preparing to return home. ZTE was then considered the second biggest IT firm in China.
Arroyo signed a special authority allowing her transportation and communications secretary, Leandro Mendoza, to sign the agreement on her behalf with then ZTE vice president Yu Yong.
On June 26, 2007, the Senate called for an investigation of the broadband contract, saying that ZTE has been involved in questionable deals in other countries.
The Senate investigation led to the resignation of Benjamin Abalos as Commission on Elections chair and ultimately, the scrapping of the project.
Two impeachment complaints filed in 2007 against Arroyo over the NBN-ZTE project were scrapped in Congress and graft charges against her were dismissed by the Sandiganbayan in 2016.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.