Key witness in NBN scam expects ‘worst’ but isn’t giving up


‘They may have won battle, but not the war’

By Thea Alberto
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 14:18:00 09/15/2008

 

MANILA, Philippines — The key witness in the national broadband network controversy is expecting the “worst,” after the Court of Appeals dismissed his petition for protection under the writ of amparo, which he called a “law without justice.”

“The worst is yet to come,” said Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada Jr. Monday, anticipating more charges to be filed against him as part of the government’s move to allegedly harass him.

At the same time, Lozada said he and his lawyers would discuss whether to appeal the court decision, saying, “They may have won this battle, but they have not won the war yet.”

He also called the writ of amparo a “law without justice.”

“I cannot believe na ako pa ngayon ang lumalabas na nagsinungaling [that I am now the liar],” said Lozada, reiterating his testimony that if the media had not been determined to find him at the time that he was reported missing, he could have been dead by now.

The appeals court ruled that there was no evidence of threats to his life when security men took him from the airport last February.

In an interview Monday, Lozada Jr. maintained that he was kidnapped by government security to prevent him from testifying at the Senate, which at that time was investigating the multimillion-dollar telecommunications contract with China’s ZTE Corporation.

Lozada said that if he was not kidnapped, why did security officials hide him from his family, brought him to a remote area in Los Banos, Laguna, and then forced him to sign a security request he purportedly asked.

Lozada also reacted to the statement of Philippine National Police Director General Avelino Razon that the court ruling was a vindication. Razon was among the key officials tagged in the controversy for supposedly forcing Lozada to sign a security request.

“If it’s a vindication coming from a court of justice ‘yung talagang patas na hukuman, ok lang [a court of justice that has no bias, it’s ok]. Pero kung vindication galing sa grupo-grupo nila, hindi vindication yan [But if it’s a vindication that has come from their group, then that is not vindication]. The real vindication is what the people believe.” said Lozada.

First Gentleman Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo has filed perjury charges against Lozada who implicated him in the NBN scam.

Lozada said it was “his faith” that had kept him going but added that despite this, he had “always been afraid for myself and family.” He added that he would continue giving talks to schools and villages regarding the NBN controversy.

Last week, the court rejected the claim of Lozada, 45, former head of the environmental state agency Philippine Forest Corp., that he was abducted by security men on his return to the country on February 5 from Hong Kong. He had gone abroad to avoid summons to appear before the Senate investigation.

Named respondents in Lozada’s petition were Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, airport security chief Angel Atutubo, Philippine National Police Director General Avelino Razon, and Senior Police Officer 4 Rodolfo Valeroso. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was initially named in the case but was dropped by the court, saying she could not be sued while serving her term.

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