Naughty wags are projecting that the controversial ZTE contract will soon be aborted. Whether it is a valid contract or a work-in-progress, they say that Malacanang's suspension of this deal is in preparation of its eventual cancellation.
Newspapers report that the unveiled mystery man departed for HK, Munich and Switzerland. Didn't the former congressman and now Senator Alan Cayateno expose that the FG had large funds deposited in a Munich bank? And isn't Switzerland known for banks with numbered accounts?
Mischievous minds say that he is there to arrange the return of whatever advances made by ZTE to the brokers (some quarters say that the downpayment was about $55 million dollars). Joey of JDV swears under oath that he was offered $10 million, and there are rumors that P200 million was dangled before the erstwhile NEDA secretary to get the NBN signed off. Both allegedly turned down these juicy offers, so most of the alleged bribe money must be intact. Or is it? Those same rumormongers whisper the amount of $20 million used in the recent senatorial elections.
So here go the analyses of these do-no-gooders:
1. Brokers pocket a substantial amount of bribe money when the NBN-ZTE contract is signed by both governments on April, 2007, a month before the May elections;
2. Some millions of dollars are used to fund administration senatorial bets while the rest are deposited in foreign-based banks;
3. Joey of JDV exposes Comelec Chairman Abalos offering him a huge bribe and hints of a mystery man;
4. Senate decides to investigate the deal and the Supreme Court issues a TRO;
5. Palace and JDV are unable to dissuade Joey to testify before the Senate and learns that he will name FG as the mystery man. Palace also knows that in front of a congressional investigation, Finance Secretary Teves and ex-NEDA chief Romulo Neri will not lie and will tell what they know of Chairman Abalos' pushing for ZTE;
6. Palace decides that there is a strong possibility that the contract may have to be aborted;
7. FG and his advisers find the perfect cover for leaving the country in haste: everybody will think that he left to avoid the Senate hearing. Nobody will think that he went to Munich and Zurich to withdraw money to refund ZTE;
8. Though the decision has been made to cancel the contract, Palace goes through the motions of defending the deal such as allowing the cabinet secretaries to testify before the senate and subsequently suspending the contract;
8. Upon return of their money, ZTE will not continue their threat to question the TRO of the Supreme Court. ZTE will just make perfunctory noises and eventually accept the cancellation of the contract.
9. With ZTE pacified, Palace will go to work on Joey by increasing pressure on JDV. Cabinet secretaries and officials will still be allowed to attend Senate hearings. Eventually Palace will announce the cancellation of the deal.
And how will this end for Chairman Abalos? The gossipmongers have not yet gone that far. But what do you think?