Roxas files on behalf of Senate petition asking Lozada custody

Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas today formally filed before the Manila Regional Trial Court the motion seeking the release of NBN-ZTE whistleblower Rodolfo "Jun" Lozada on Senate recognizance.

The motion was signed by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Senators Roxas, Maria Consuelo Madrigal, Panfilo Lacson, Gregorio Honasan II, Benigno Aquino III, Rodolfo Biazon, Loren Legarda and Francis Escudero.
"Pagtupad ito ng ating pangako kay Jun Lozada na 'di siya pababayaan ng Senado. 'Pag para sa katotohanan, kakampi ko at ng Senado (We are fulfilling our promise to Jun Lozada that the Senate will not abandon him. I and the Senate will stand by the truth)," Roxas vowed.
A resolution calling for the immediate release of Lozada on recognizance of the Senate signed by members of the majority block and another resolution signed by all senators would be routed personally by Roxas among his colleagues during the afternoon session.

In seeking the release of Lozada on recognizance of the Senate, the signatory-senators cited Section 15, Rule 114 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure which allows the release of a person in custody on "recognizance of a responsible person," which they claim in this case would refer to them.
"Considering that at the time of the issuance of the arrest warrant and Mr. Lozada's actual arrest, Mr. Lozada was under the custody of the Senate of the Philippines and has been very cooperative and has not attempted to flee during the Senate investigations, it is only proper that Mr. Lozada be released from MPD custody on recognizance of the undersigned senators," they pointed out in the motion.
Lozada was arrested on April 29 after the Manila RTC found basis on the perjury complaint of former presidential chief of staff Mike Defensor, who had alleged the witness committed perjury by giving conflicting testimonies against him during the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on the anomalous NBN-ZTE broadband network deal and during the Court of Appeals' hearing on Lozada's petition for the issuance of a writ of amparo.

In the separate Senate resolutions, senators cited the crucial role of Lozada in the Senate inquiry into the $329 million NBN-ZTE deal and how he "bravely testified and revealed the truth at the Senate hearings despite threats to his and his family's lives and security."
"Considering the invaluable contribution of Jun Lozada in the name of truth and justice when he courageously offered himself as a witness at the Senate hearings to blow the whistle and reveal his knowledge on the highly irregular and anomalous $329 million NBN-ZTE contract, it is only proper that Jun Lozada be released from MPD custody on recognizance of the Senate," the motions stated.

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