Lacson offers to pay Lozadas' bail

Report by Anthony Taberna, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 08 2013 06:50 PM | Updated as of Feb 09 2013 02:50 AM

MANILA – Sen. Panfilo Lacson has offered to pay for the P60,000 bail of NBN-ZTE deal whistle-blower Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada Jnr and his brother,  Jose Orlando.

A source said that even before the Sandiganbayan issued the arrest warrant for the Lozadas, the senator already took P60,000 from his own pocket for bail money.

Lacson confirmed the news but said the Lozadas did not ask him for help. He said he wants to help Lozada after he exposed the anomalies in the botched National Broadband Network (NBN) deal with Chinese telecommunications firm, ZTE Corp., during the Arroyo administration.

“Linawin ko lang na sarili kong pera hindi [Senate] MOOE (maintenance and other operating expenses),” he said.

“Yung ginawa niya, malaking tulong sa bayan. Ayaw kong magkaroon siya ng feeling na inabandon siya after all this time. Noong araw, agaw-agawan kaming mga senador sa pagkontak sa kaniya, talagang hot commodity,” he added.

Lozada thanked Lacson for his unwavering support but said it is the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP) where he is staying that will pay for his bail.

“Under the sanctuary program I am in, AMRSP shall be carrying the burden of paying for my bail. Once again, the family thanks Sen. Lacson for his support,” Lozada said in a text message.

Lozada earlier exposed the overpricing of the $329 million NBN-ZTE contract.  His revelation forced then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to rescind the deal.

The Sandiganbayan recently issued an arrest order for Lozada and his brother for alleged violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Lozada allegedly awarding the leasehold right of a 6,599 hectare land to his brother when he was still president of the Philippine Forest Corporation, a government-owned corporation.