Lozada, family to go into hiding - again

By Rainier Allan Ronda, The Philippine Star

Posted at Feb 05 2013 08:04 AM | Updated as of Feb 05 2013 04:04 PM

MANILA, Philippines - National broadband network (NBN) deal whistle-blower Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada said yesterday that he and his family would go into hiding again to avoid harassment after armed men visited his house in Pasig City twice since Saturday.

Lozada said his wife, Maria Violeta, and their children would move out of their house again and go to an undisclosed place to spare the family from the unwelcome visitors.

Lozada had blown the whistle on alleged multi-million dollar kickback surrounding the scrapped $329-million NBN project, which resulted in graft cases being filed against former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and several former top Arroyo administration officials.

He said that yesterday afternoon, six armed men who identified themselves as employees of the Pasig City Postal Office went to his house. Lozada also said that last Saturday, two armed men arrived at his house and was looking for him.

He said that his lawyers have taught his household helpers not to say anything to strangers.

He said that he is expecting an arrest warrant after the Ombudsman denied his bid to drop graft charges that were filed against him in connection with alleged anomalous deals for the lease of government lands by his brother with the Philippine Forest Corp. during the time that he headed the agency.

Lozada said that what hurts him the most was that people who had given him shelter and safe harbor when he came out as a whistle-blower five years ago were now treating him as an enemy.

He said the late President Corazon Aquino was the first to take up his fight and give him shelter. “As Tita Cory said then, I was her last fight,” he said.

Fortunately, he said that religious groups that had given him shelter in 2007 have not abandoned him.