De Venecia, Lozada feel vindicated

Posted at 01/06/12 11:21 PM

MANILA, Philippines - NBN-ZTE whistleblowers Joey de Venecia and Jun Lozada feel vindicated after former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was charged with graft before the Sandiganbayan, in connection with the botched $329-million broadband deal.

De Venecia said on ANC's Tamano Perspective that he is ready to face the court to testify against Arroyo, and the alleged corrupt dealings involved in the broadband project.

Aside from Arroyo, also charged are her husband Mike, former Commission on Elections Chairman Benjamin Abalos, and former Transportation and Communications Secretary Leandro Mendoza.

"I made the expose in 2007. It cost my father's job as well," de Venecia said. "I believe I've earned respect of people. Senate probe has resulted into more concrete. It's in the Sandiganbayan."

He is a son of former House Speaker Jose de Venecia, who has also expressed his intention to testify against the accused.

Joey, whose company Amsterdam Holdings also made a bid for the NBN project, said he was offered $10 million by Abalos to "back off" from the project.

He also claims that his proposal was shelved in favor of a deal with China's ZTE that was padded with kickbacks and advances.

Lozada, for his part, said he is also willing to help the government win its case.

"I see this as more bringing the faith of people... like there's justice in this land," he said.

"We'll be working with prosecutors. We now the drill already. Telling the truth, you really don't have to prepare much," he added.

With the charges already filed in court, de Venecia and Lozada hope that justice will be served soon.

"My wife and kids tell me, let's finish this fight, even it it turns difficult," said Lozada. - ANC