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Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, former FG, and Benjamin Abalos pleaded ‘not guilty’ on NBN-ZTE deal case

By on Apr 11, 2012 in Asia, Local, Politics Comments

Updated: July 25, 2012 3:10 p.m.

Read Gloria Macapagal Arroyo released from VVMC, after posting P1-million bail

Manila, Philippines – Former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) has pleaded “not guilty” on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 on the controversial ZTE-NBN deal case.

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo file photo
Image Credit: Reuters

As noted in local TV news that day, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo left her detention room at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City at around 7:20 a.m (local time) and arrived at the Sandiganbayan‘s 4th Division within less than 30 minutes of travel.

According to reports, Mrs. Arroyo‘s co-accused, her husband former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo, and Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr. also pleaded “not guilty” for the same case.

Meanwhile, former Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Leandro Mendoza, who is also among the co-accused, did not come to the arraignment that morning after he suffered from stroke last month.

Mendoza, 66, who also served as Philippine National Police (PNP) Director under the Arroyo administration, is still confined at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig City, had asked to move his arraignment on May 11, 2012.

Based on history, the controversial NBN-ZTE deal allegedly involved corruption in the awarding of a $329-million construction contract of National Broadband Network (NBN) with Chinese telecommunications firm, ZTE Corporation back in April 20, 2007.

Apparently, the said business deal was for the proposed government-managed nationwide broadband network during the term of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who cancelled the project in October 2007 after accusations of irregularities surfaced.

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