MANILA – A witness of the botched National Broadband Network deal said former Commission on Election (Comelec) chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr. will not escape prosecution from graft charges.

In an interview with Sun.Star, Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada said Abalos cannot continue hiding from the “truth.”

“Truth is like the light that no matter how mightily you try to keep it in the dark, it always shines through for everyone to see,” he said.

Abalos, who entered a “not guilty” plea before the Sandiganbayan’s fourth division early Tuesday, said he is confident that the graft cases will be dropped due to weak evidence.

The former Comelec chair was alleged of offering a P200-million bribe to former

Socioeconomic planning Secretary Romulo Neri in exchange of approving the $329 million deal with China’s Zhong Xing Telecommunications Equipment (ZTE) Corp.

Neri told President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of the bribe but directed Neri however to proceed with the project.

The special court earlier granted Abalos’s motion to defer his arraignment scheduled on July 20.

Both Abalos and Neri were charged with violation of Republic Act 3019, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)