Whistle-blower Jun Lozada welcomes graft probePhilippine Daily Inquirer
Whistle-blower Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada on Friday welcomed the filing of graft cases against him at the Sandiganbayan as an opportunity to shed light on the allegedly anomalous NBN-ZTE deal during the Arroyo administration.
“I welcome the opportunity to shed light on these cases that were part of a large number of harassment cases filed against me by GMA (Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) and her cohorts as a result of my decision to testify on the truth behind the NBN-ZTE deal. It was part of a package of bribes and threats that I was subjected to hide the truth,” Lozada said in a statement.
Lozada said all his actions during his stint with the government had all been above board. “I am open to presenting it to scrutiny by the court. I am confident that the truth shall be known during this period of openness under the P-Noy administration,” he added.
“My determination has not wavered and I am open to collaborate with the proper authorities to bring this case to its rightful conclusion,” he said.
On Wednesday, the Office of the Ombudsman filed two cases of graft against Lozada at the Sandiganbayan for alleged corrupt practices while he was president and chief executive officer of the state-owned Philippine Forest Corp. (PFC) in 2007 and 2008.
Lozada was charged with violations of the Antigraft and Corrupt Practices Act, or Republic Act No. 3019, for leasing out public land to his brother and a private firm in which he had “a direct or indirect financial or pecuniary interest.”
In the first case, the Ombudsman said that Lozada had unlawfully awarded the lease contract of a piece of land under the PFC’s Lupang Hinirang program to Transforma Quinta, a private corporation in which he and his wife, Ma. Violeta, had been appointed to act for and in its behalf in certain financial transactions.
It said Lozada committed the offense while in the performance of his official functions as PFC head, taking advantage of his position, whose duties included the awarding of leasehold rights to qualified beneficiaries.