Ex-whistleblower Jun Lozada: Better for gov’t to fund own internet sites | Inquirer News

Ex-whistleblower Jun Lozada: Better for gov’t to fund own internet sites

By: - Reporter / @zacariansINQ
/ 02:49 PM June 27, 2021

(FILE) The Sandiganbayan convicts Jun Lozada of graft and sentences him to six to 10 years in prison. RICHARD A. REYES/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER

Update

MANILA, Philippines — The government should shoulder the internet needs of the country as it has already become a necessity, Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada Jr., the whistleblower in the National Broadband Network (NBN)-ZTE said.

Lozada stated that private companies should not be the ones to provide internet services in the Philippines.

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“I’m still advocating na gobyerno dapat ang magbigay ng broadband sa mga Pilipino. Ang internet naakahalaga sa buhay ng modernong lipunan, sa modernong gobyerno,” Lozada said in an interview over Infinite Radio Calbayog on June 24.

“Hindi dapat na pinababayaan ng pamahalaan na kunin din ng private sector ang pamamahala sa broadband dahil may mga pansariling interes ang mga pribadong sector at posibleng pagbutihin lang nila ang kanilang serbisyo sa mga lugar na may makukuha silang pakinabang,” Lozada said.

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(The government should not allow the private sector to take over the management of broadband because the private sector has vested interests and may only improve their service in areas where they can benefit.)

Lozada was the whistleblower in the NBN-ZTE case in 2008 and testified in the graft trial of former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo and former Commission on Elections chairman Benjamin Abalos who allegedly used their influence to lobby for the broadband deal with China.

Lozada told a Senate inquiry into government corruption that the Philippines’ top election official had demanded $130 million as his cut for an eventual $329 million telecoms deal with China’s ZTE Corp.

Abalos, however, was acquitted by the Sandiganbayan Fourth Division from graft on May 11, 2016.

READ: Ex-Comelec chair Abalos acquitted from graft over NBN-ZTE deal

Former president Gloria Arroyo also faced graft and breach of ethical conduct in the NBN-ZTE case.

Arroyo was accused of violating Section 3 (i) of the anti-graft law when she approved the alleged highly anomalous telecommunication project with the Chinese state-owned firm supposedly for personal gain despite knowing the irregularities in the project, according to government prosecutors

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But in September 2016, Arroyo was exonerated of the graft charges by the same court that acquitted Abalos.

READ: Sandigan dismisses Arroyo’s NBN-ZTE case

RELATED STORY: WHAT WENT BEFORE: NBN-ZTE deal

/MUF
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TAGS: Broadband, internet security, Jun Lozada
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