Good friend Leah Makabenta, a colleague at the newspaper, wrote a few notes on Secretary Leandro Mendoza’s recent visit to the Inquirer, where other details in the whole ZTE-NBN saga got an airing. Her notes, originally meant to run as an item in yesterday’s Between Deadlines column, ran to almost 10,000 characters; we decided to devote the column space to the revised, shorter version instead, and publish it as Commentary.
It certainly makes for provocative reading.
The correspondence makes for almost comical reading. Even as the ZTE deal was in the process of being revised and after the contract was already signed, AHI was still engaged in a rearguard action, arguing that it had submitted all the documents (the DOTC wrote back that it didn’t); supplying Mendoza with a draft letter of endorsement for its proposal to then-director general Romulo Neri of the National Economic and Development Authority; dropping the name of the Speaker; and finally demanding, in hectoring tones, that DOTC officials evaluate its proposal.
AHI did finally get an endorsement from Neri, echoing perfectly the wording and tone of the unsigned Mendoza letter — even before the DOTC could properly evaluate its proposal.