Archive for the joecab caballero Category

NEWS: Way Kurat: “I’m willing to face the SP” “But Joecab should also go there”

Posted in joecab caballero, way kurat zamora with tags , , on September 15, 2008 by cha monforte

july 14

Compostela Valley Congressman Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora (1st District) has accepted the challenge of former Gov. Jose “Joecab” Caballero saying that he is very much willing to go to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to shed light about what he can remember during the meeting with Chinese-speaking investors and with President Arroyo herself during her visit to Compostela town last July 2006.

In that presidential visit, the President announced at Zamora’s congressional office that she was bringing with her investors of Chinese firm ZTE Corp interested to invest in mining ventures in the province.

In an interview over the weekend, Cong. Zamora said that Caballero was right in saying that the President came to visit her congressional office and was also right for passing the buck of the issue to the congressman but “with all respect to him, Caballero should also go there” referring to the SP which moved last week to conduct a legislative inquiry on the reported $1-billion mining project of ZTE Corp to Diwalwal.

Zamora suggested that since he is on the thick of marathon budget hearings at press time until October 11 and onwards Caballero should first face the SP so that his statements “could be put on the record” and “after that, file a motion for me to appear”.

“I’m willing to appear but I could not just be available due to the marathon hearings,” Zamora said.

Zamora said that during the presidential visit there was indeed a meeting that occurred inside his congressional office with the President and Chinese-speaking officials with their interpreters.

But, he said, he did not know what were the particular companies the Chinese-speaking visitors were representing for.

He said he was not the only the one who knew what transpired during the meeting since former 2nd District Cong. Prospero Amatong and all the mayors were also there except Monkayo Mayor Manuel “Junjun” Brillantes.

Caballero, then governor at that time, was not invited to attend in Compostela visit of Arroyo but reports said that he and Brillantes had also met with ZTE investors at Marco Polo Hotel during the visit.

Caballero, in separate interview, denied he met with ZTE officials saying they were only having their lunch with Mayor Brillantes at the hotel while the President graced for the launching of the congressman’s earthworm and nursery project at his congressional office.

Currently, the ZTE Corp is embroiled anew of another controversy about its award of mining rights over 8,000 hectares of mineral reservation in Diwalwal a year after the firm figured in the anomalous NBN deal. The firm was accused of giving millions of bribe money to national officials including the President to bag the multi-billion NBN contract.

For its legislative probe, the SP entasked last week its environment committee to call Caballero, Finance Secretary Peter Favila, DENR Sec. Lito Atienza, former DENR Sec. Michael Defensor and others to shed light on the report of $1-billion deal of the ZTE Corp. for the mining rights over Diwalwal which the SP feared could trigger unease among Diwalwal miners if the report is not clarified.

The SP acted on following privilege speech of Boardmember Dexter Lopoz who notified his colleagues two weeks ago about the deal as first hinted by an editorial of the Philippine Star before the new ZTE controversy hit the current headlines.

Boardmember Neri Barte joined with Lopoz last week calling for legislative probe on ZTE’s Diwalwal deal which got the SP nod. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

NEWS: Comval SP set to summon Joecab, others on ZTE’s mining rights over Diwalwal

Posted in cong way kurat zamora, gov. chiongkee uy, joecab caballero, zte diwalwal with tags , , , on September 15, 2008 by cha monforte

Joecab says not him but Way Kurat

Chiongkee welcomes SP probe

ZTE wants to develop Diwalwal as “new Shenzhen City in the Philippines”

sept 12

The Compostela Valley Sangguniang Panlalawigan will summon former Governor Jose Caballero and involved national government officials to shed light in its own legislative inquiry in the wake of reports that the controversial Chinese firm ZTE Corp has been awarded of $1-billion mining rights in Diwalwal.

Acting on the privilege speeches Boardmembers Dexter Lopoz and Neri Barte in yesterday’s session, the provincial board moved to conduct an inquiry to know of the real score of the reported ZTE’s award of mining rights by Malacanang to Diwalwal.

The SP is accordingly apprehensive it could trigger anew instability in the mining area coming from the ranks of the miners who might fear dislocation if the report is not clarified.

The province’s SP entasked its environment committee chaired by Boardmember Moran Takasan to send letters to Caballero, Trade Secretary Peter Favila, Environment Secretary Lito Atienza and former Environment Secretary Mike Defensor, who all accordingly knew of the ZTE’s deal in Diwalwal.

Asked for his comment, former Gov. Caballero denied he knew of the ZTE’s deal in Diwalwal and that he met with ZTE’s top officials who accordingly accompanied President Arroyo when she visited Compostela town last July 8, 2006.

He instead said that the SP should better summon 1st District Cong. Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora as it was him who was visited by the President and in his legislative office in Compostela where the President announced the news that she was bringing with her ZTE officials interested to invest in mining in the province.

Caballero, then the Kampi provincial chairman, said that he was not in the first place invited by Zamora and other Lakas officials in the province in that presidential visit when Caballero was still the governor.

He said though he would listen for more news about the ZTE’s mining deal saying that he only knew all about it since then in the news.

Asked for his comment, Gov. Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy in text message said that he welcomes the SP’s move to probe on ZTE Corp.

The provincial board was tipped off last week in a privilege speech of Boardmember Lopoz about the mining rights given to ZTE Corp. over Diwalwal when the a recent editorial of Philippine Star made mention of the firm’s award of mining rights over Diwalwal by Malacanang.

But the other day, Malacañang already responded to the news that dragged again the ZTE Corp saying that it is still open to doing business with the firm and its subsidiaries despite the political storm created by the $329-million NBN contract signed by the government with ZTE Corp.

President Arroyo was forced to cancel the NBN contract after the disclosure of alleged bribery and overpricing in the deal.

As this developed,  an unimpeachable source said that contrary to Malacanang statement, technical people belonging to the ZTE Corp. had already made even underground exploration in Diwalwal and had visited North Davao in Maco town close to the days after the visit of the President, unimpeachable source told Sidlak recently.

The Chinese-speaking technical men went down to see for themselves underground veins in Diwalwal and stayed there for hours bringing only Jollibee lunchpacks for their meals, source added.

The source added that he was even astounded that when the group of technical men visited Diwalwal they had already a grand master plan of developing Diwalwal as the “new Shenzhen City in the Philippines”.

Shenzhen City, established in 1980, is China’s first economic special zone, which successfully developed its economy without damaging the environment. Todate, it has modern cityscape as a result of the vibrant economy made possible by rapid foreign investment since the late 1970s, when it was but a small fishing village.

But the source said that he was also surprised that when they toured over the North Davao area at Masara using a military chopper a member of ZTE’s technical men borrowed a soldier’s M203 grenade launcher and fired a shot down to a hill at Masara area to the laughter of the rest of the team.

Lawyer Harry Roque disclosed the other day that he plans to file graft charges against Trade Secretary Favila with the Office of the Ombudsman for awarding a $1-billion mining contract to Chinese firm ZTE Corp., which was involved in the canceled national broadband network (NBN) deal with the government.

Roque said the government, represented by Favila, violated the Constitution when it signed the memorandum of understanding with ZTE International Investments Ltd., the investment arm of ZTE Corp., allowing the company to explore, develop and operate mining sites in the Mt. Diwalwal gold mining site in Monkayo, Compostela Valley.

The administration allowed ZTE to explore some 8,000 hectares of Mt. Diwalwal.

Roque said the agreement was entered into with special authority from President Arroyo.

Environment Secretary Lito Atienza, however, said there is no record in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources that the MOU has been implemented.

Atienza criticized Roque for attempting to “provoke” small-scale miners in Mt. Diwalwal, who would supposedly be affected by the ZTE operations in the gold mining site.

“There is no reason for them (small-scale miners) to be worried or bothered. Mr. Roque should not do that, provoke the small-scale miners there,” he noted.

When asked if ZTE Corp. applied for mining permits to implement the MOU, Atienza expressed uncertainty that such application could still come through, citing the government’s existing plan for Mt. Diwalwal.

According to Roque, the MOU, which was signed on July 12, 2006, practically awarded “mining rights” to ZTE Corp. for the 8,000 hectares of mineral reserve in Mt. Diwalwal.

Roque added that the Philippine government also awarded similar “mining rights” to ZTE Corp. in another mining area in North Davao. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)