Jun Lozada on temporary liberty after bail

By Dharel Placido, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Feb 11 2013 11:38 AM | Updated as of Feb 11 2013 07:39 PM

MANILA - Whistle-blower Rodolfo "Jun" Lozada and his brother on Monday posted bail in connection with their graft cases pending before the Sandiganbayan.

Lozada and his brother Jose Orlando Lozada posted a combined bail amount of P90,000 for the graft cases filed by the Office of the Ombudsman against them.

The Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP) shouldered the bail.

The Sandiganbayan earlier issued a warrant of arrest against Lozada in connection with the alleged anomalous deals that the Philippine Forest Corp. entered into when he was still head of the agency. The firm allegedly leased government lands to his brother.

The cases were filed by incumbent Philippine Forest Corp. President Erwin Santos.

Prior to his surrender on Monday, Lozada went into hiding with his family due to threats and harassment from armed men.

He said armed men in civilian clothes who claimed to be legitimate government forces had been visiting their residence in Pasig.

Fearing for his family's safety, Lozada sought anew the help of the nuns and priests of the AMRSP.

He and his family are expected to remain in a safehouse provided by the AMRSP after being granted temporary freedom.

Aquino asked: What about Jun?

Fr. Marlon Lacal, AMRSP Executive Secretary, said his group will continue to support Lozada.

"Well, ito yung sinasabi ng Malacañang na kailangan sundin ni Jun Lozada na rule of law. So from day 1 we wanted to make it clear na Jun Lozada is not running away from all these legal problems. It's just that inuna namin ang seguridad niya at ng pamilya niya," Lacal told dzMM.

Lacal also criticized the Aquino administration for "abandoning" Lozada, who became known for his exposé on the botched $329-million national broadband network (NBN)-ZTE Corp. deal under then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

"Kasi tignan mo naman ang concern ng ating pangulo kay Grace Padaca, siya pa ang nag-bail. Kay Neric Acosta. Kung titignan natin, ikumpara natin ang mga taong iyan at sa ginawa ni Jun para sa bayan, we owe a lot to Jun Lozada. Pero parang seemingly nakakaligtaan nila ata," he said.

"We will continue to hold him in his sanctuary for security reasons...They don't deserve this. Jun only fights for what is true and real."