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NBN-ZTE Scandal ‘Star Witness’ Jun Lozada Is Arrested For Perjury; Critics See Malacanang’s ‘Hand’

April 29, 2009


The unresolved ZTE-NBN scandal is back in the news with the ‘star witness’ in the botched award to a Chinese telecoms of a $329-M contract arrested on perjury charges.

The case filed against Rodolfo ‘Jun’ Lozada stems from his assertions before the Court of Appeals that former presidential chief of staff Michael Defensor had attempted to bribe him and was involved in his abduction by police.

What has raised eyebrows is the fact that while court action on the perjury case moved with dispatch, the graft cases in connection with the NBN-ZTE scandal itself have not moved an in inch at the Office of the Ombudsman.

Lozada is refusing to post bail to gain temporary freedom in order to make a point: that there is a patent injustice taking place.

Malacanang is denying that it has anything to do with the curious turn of events but  negative public reaction is certain to weigh against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her spouse.


One’s thoughts cannot but go back to the revelations that the First Couple had gone unannounced to the headquarters in Shenzen in 2006, even playing a round of golf and while there, Mrs. Arroyo had given her approval to the National Broadband Network deal.

The ZTE scandal formed the main basis of the one of the 4 bids to impeach Mrs. Arroyo for corruption.

The only casualty in the scandal was former elections chief Benjamin Abalos who was forced to resign in the face of charges that he brokered “backroom negotiations” to help ZTE bag the contract.

The scandal first revealed by businessman Joey De Venecia (son of the former House Speaker) and confirmed by Lozada led to high-profile Senate hearings, which eventually prompted Mrs. Arroyo to cancel the project.

Joey De Venecia had testified about how Atty. Mike Arroyo told him to “back off” from the deal.

In the aftermath of the uncompleted hearings, Lozada and his family have been under the protection of nuns in cramped makeshift quarters at La Salle Greenhills.

Now that he has been arrested on court orders, Lozada is facing the prospect of being detained at the Manila City jail with a total of 16 cases hanging over his head.

This is how the wheels of (in)justice are grinding.


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