Ok, I said I wasn’t going to comment directly on the ZTE hearing, seeing as the noisier and media-allied segment of society has prejudged the case, but the transport strike has made me watch ANC, and I really have to write this down.
Right now, “surprise” witness Leo San Miguel is being grilled by the Senate. And I find it… abhorrent that Ping Lacson, or even Pong Biazon, would mouth “truth” in one voice but put intense pressure on a witness to “tell the truth” when what they heard wasn’t to their liking.
Geez, that was underhanded of Sen. Biazon: “if I were ZTE, and you were nothing, I wouldn’t hire you.” The guy has already said, again and again, that he is a technical consultant. He refuses to comment on what the Senators want to hear – the juicier, media-interest shit on bribery – and they’re pressuring him to say something he doesn’t want to, or, as San Miguel claims, has no knowledge or involvement in.
“My job is technical”, San Miguel insists.
This is the witness, goddamit
Oh, look at that statement from Ping: “so si Ruben Reyes ang lead fixer here?”
What the hell, yes? I mean, this guy (Ping Lacson) said a while ago that the Committee is seeking “the truth” and that the Senators can supposedly know when you’re lying or not.
But look at him. Look at what he’s saying. That’s not about the truth; that’s a bias, a prejudging of the case. There is no respect for the truth here, just a lot of politicians trying to score brownie points.
What the hell, yes?
Edit (12:32 p.m.)
Dammit, why do the interesting things happen when you’re out for lunch?
San Miguel denies that his signature is the one on a document produced by Madriaga. Even more fascinating, San Miguel is claiming it’s a photocopy of someone’s signature.
And Biazon has stated the obvious: who is lying?
Edit (3:59 p.m.)
Ugh. Fell asleep.
Mmm… I see they’re still at it.
Why are the Senators asking loaded questions?
I think there’s a confusion with the term “commission” here. It appears that San Miguel is talking about it one way and the Senators are meaning a different one.
The Senators are obviously referring to the illegal “komisyon”, or the kickback, government people get from padded government contracts. It sounds as if “commission” to San Miguel is the percentage you get from a deal.
This is, to my mind, something that is “quasi-legal” at worst. We are all familiar to offers of percentages to a “contract price” when you help with it, like when you broker a deal for maybe a car or piece of land between two people. When ZTE offered a “commission” to San Miguel, and when he refers to the term, I think he means it that way.
Edit (4:15 p.m.)
And did Cheez just ask a couple of leading questions to their boy Lozada?