Cayetano: Lozada must be given immunity

By Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 08 2013 07:30 PM | Updated as of Feb 09 2013 03:30 AM

MANILA – The Aquino government must grant immunity from suits to Jun Lozada, the whistleblower in the National Broadband Network (NBN) scandal during the Arroyo administration, who now faces an arrest warrant, Senate Minority Leader Alan Cayetano said on Friday.

Cayetano called the issuance by the Sandiganbayan of an order to arrest Lozada on graft charges "a very sad day" for the Aquino administration.

"The Ombudsman can always withdraw the case. They can always give him immunity or they can use him as a state witness," Cayetano told reporters on Friday.

"I don't know whether he's guilty or innocent, but I believe in him."

Cayetano added that Lozada should have been given immunity long ago, and that what happened to him may discourage people from exposing anomalies in government.

"If you were in his position now and know a scam in government, would you now become a whistleblower? No," Cayetano said.