Recently, it was announced that the ZTE-NBN Senate investigation will be revived, with the baring of at least two new witnesses (and photos of a Shenzhen golf course). The announcements allege the “secret” meeting between President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and ZTE officials courtesy of former Comelec Chairman and lately’s Ben’s Burjer promoter Benjamin Abalos Jr.
This came after Senator Alan Peter Cayetano announced the possible outcome of his Senate joint committee investigation basically clearing the president on the ZTE-NBN scandal. He later retracted (or “clarified”) that there was no such final conclusion.
Now, we are staring at a new round of ZTE-NBN hearings. At the rate, the hearings are being scheduled at 2-3 months interval–of course, with new “witnesses.” The ZTE-NBN investigation promises to produce a record for the longest investigation in congressional history.
There are suspicions–and Malacañang was only too quick to pounce on them–that these hearings are turning into hearings in aid of 2010 elections. Corollary to this are suspicions–also likely–that these coincide with the state of negotiations between certain presidentiables and the president regarding the transition from the GMA regime and presidential endorsement.
A little twist that had largely gone unnoticed so far was the presence–and therefore the potential testimony–of former Speaker Jose de Venecia at the now-infamous Shenzhen golf game. This was already disclosed by his son, Joey de Venecia in his testimony last year.
The curious thing here is that JDV is no hurry to present his side of the ZTE-NBN story, despite that emotional late-night speech about “telling all.” It is no accident–and curiouser–that after he was voted out of the speakership, no other de Venecia ally lost any committee chairmanship or an important position in the House of Representatives. Kampi winners got positions in newly-created special committees–a far cry from the grandiose expectations during the anti-JDV campaign. Who really won that fight?
At any rate, we are witness to the long and winding road of the ZTE-NBN investigation–a road that certain presidentiables think leads to the door of Malacañang. In two senses: one, to collect the present tenant and, two, to put oneself on the vacated throne.
One can only shake one’s head: Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.