MANILA, Philippines?Flanked by his wife and children, former Presidential Chief of Staff Mike Defensor said Wednesday that he would pursue the perjury case he filed against NBN-ZTE whistle-blower Rodolfo ?Jun? Lozada.
Defensor said he was willing to go all the way to the Supreme Court to clear his name, unless Lozada would amend his statement in the Court of Appeals.
?I am not withdrawing the case against Jun. I have called this press conference to explain what the case is all about because it?s again going back to the ZTE deal,? Defensor told the Philippine Daily Inquirer before the start of the press briefing at a restaurant in Quezon City.
However, he said he would drop the case if Lozada, whom he admitted to be a close friend before the controversy, would retract his statement that he forced him to lie that he was kidnapped when he arrived from Hong Kong in February 2008.
?He?ll just amend his statement and we?re done. But if he would not, I am willing to bring this all the way to the Supreme Court,? Defensor said.
Lozada claimed Defensor forced him to lie about his supposed kidnapping by government officials and policemen when he returned to the Philippines from Hong Kong in February 2008.
Calls from Malacańang
Fearing repercussions of the case on the administration, two Cabinet officials called him up to convince him to drop the case against Lozada, Defensor said.
?Cerge Remonde called me up last Saturday, and Gabby Claudio called me up on Sunday. Cerge again called on Monday evening. They asked me to withdraw the case, because the Lozada issue was dead but is being revived,? Defensor told reporters.
Although he does not want Lozada to go to jail, he is not withdrawing the perjury case for the sake of his family, Defensor said.
?I reiterate that I don?t want Lozada jailed. My only intent is to clear my name. This is not political for me,? Defensor said.
?I know it would adversely affect me politically, but I?m doing this for my children,? said Defensor, who ran for senator but lost in the 2007 elections.
Defensor said he wanted to clear his name for the sake of his children. ?I am doing this for my children because I do not want my name to appear in law books that I was a kidnapper,? Defensor said.