Lozada to PNoy: I'm not the enemy

by Kathlyn dela Cruz, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Feb 07 2013 08:29 PM | Updated as of Feb 08 2013 04:37 AM

MANILA -- National Broadband Network (NBN)-ZTE deal whistleblower Rodolfo "Jun" Lozada on Thursday said the administration of President Benigno Aquino III should stop treating him as an enemy.

Lozada's statement comes after an arrest warrant was issued by the Sandiganbayan for graft charges filed against him before the Office of the Ombudsman.

The case stems from Lozada's alleged involvement in questionable leasehold-rights grants when he was president of the Philippine Forest Corporation (PFC) in 2009.

The case was filed by Erwin Santos, the current president of PFC.

Speaking with radio dzMM, Lozada lamented that the current administration continues to employ Santos, who he claimed to be the only person convinced by former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to testify against him.

Lozada said Aquino should not give special treatment to Santos, hinting that his testimony on the alleged multi-million dollar kickback surrounding the scrapped $329-million NBN project resulted in graft cases being filed against Arroyo and other former top Arroyo administration officials.

"Itong taong ito na si Erwin Santos, nung pagpasok ng administrasyon ni Noynoy ay inappoint niya bilang presidente ng Philippine Forest Corporation," he told dzMM.

"Hindi naman kami naniningil sa administrasyon... Ang hindi kami tulungan ay okay lang 'yun, kung gustong ipakita ng administrasyon na patas sila sa kakampi at kalaban. Pero 'yung aktibo pang tutulungan 'yung kaisa-isang testigo ni Gloria laban sa akin, ibang kwentuhan na iyon," he added.

Lozada also claimed that Santos is also facing graft and corruption charges before the Office of the Ombudsman and Commission on Audit (COA) but noted that the administration has yet to act on it.

While the Aquino administration seems to continue helping Santos, Lozada said he is being treated as an enemy of the government.

"Parang kami na 'yung itinuring na kalaban... Nakakalito itong administrasyon na ito."

"I hope naiiintindihan niyo 'yung nararamdaman namin. Hindi kami nakikipag-away sa administrasyon pero huwag naman nila kami ituring na kaaway," Lozada said.

'I'm not hiding from the law'

Lozada on Thursday also insisted he is not hiding from the law but only from the armed men who visited his house in Pasig City.
 
He said he and his family transferred to an undisclosed location after six armed men who identified themselves as employees of the Pasig City Postal Office went to his house on Monday.

"Kaya lang ako muling ibinalik ng mga religious superior sa sanctuary program namin, hindi upang iwasan 'yung arrest warrant o hindi para iwasan ang pagharap sa kaso. Kaya lang ako napilitan at ang pamilya ko na ibalik sa program, 'yun naman talaga ay is to really confirm the safety saka security ng pamilya."

Lozada also expressed fear over the recent death of Dennis Aranas, a witness in the killing of environmentalist and radio broadcaster Gerry Ortega.

"Sa gitna ng ganitong mga konteksto [ng pagpatay], minarapat ng mga religious na itago muna ulit kami," he said.

However, Lozada assured that he will not turn his back on the graft charges filed against him.

"Hindi naman nagbabago 'yung determinasyon namin na harapin 'yung kaso," Lozada said.