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Arroyo, 3 others ordered arrested over NBN/ZTE deal

The fourth division of the Sandiganbayan has ordered the arrest of former President and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and husband Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo for a graft case over the canceled US$329-million National Broadband Network (NBN) deal.

Aside from the Arroyos, those ordered arrested were former Commission on Elections chair Benjamin Abalos and former Transportation Secretary Leandro Mendoza.

Mike Arroyo and Mendoza each posted PhP30,000 bail at the Sandiganbayan Tuesday (March 13). Mrs. Arroyo and Abalos are both detained on a non-bailable electoral sabotage charge.

Mrs. Arroyo was charged with two counts of graft and one count of violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees in connection with the approval of the NBN deal with China’s ZTE Corp.

Malacañang hailed the Sandiganbayan on Tuesday for issuing warrants of arrest for former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and three others for their involvement in the scuttled NBN-ZTE deal during her administration.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte called the Sandiganyan Anti-Graft Court’s action as “a step in the right direction.”

The Sandiganbayan charged the four for allegedly using their positions in government to push through the $329-million National Broadband Network (NBN) project in 2007 as proposed by China’s Zhong Xing Telecommunications Inc.