Press Release
February 8, 2008


"Marami kang kasamang nagtataya ng buhay para sa mga Pilipino."

This was the assurance made by Senate President Manny Villar to witness Rodrigo Noel Lozada Jr. who expressed fears for his life in the wake of his testimony at the Senate today on the NBN-ZTE deal.

Villar aired the assurance as he ended his time of questioning Lozada during the Blue Ribbon committee hearing that began at 10 a.m.

The Senate President, in asking the newly resigned Philippine Forest Corp. president and chief executive officer on his background in government, elicited from Lozada his involvement on an approved government project, the Southrail, as a technical consultant.

Lozada later on said the Southrail project was among the government's anomalous projects which escaped scrutiny, and was reportedly overpriced by $70 million. The Senate witness is an electronics and communications engineer by profession.

The Nacionalista Party president also expressed alarm at the incident at the airport where Lozada was whisked away by people he did not know. Lozada said he himself was surprised and feared for his safety.

The disappearance of a passenger in the airport leaves a chilling effect which does not augur well in a democratic country like the Philippines, Villar stressed.

Villar said he will recommend to the committee the filing of appropriate charges against the officials who took Lozada away in violation of his rights.

The Senate President also said that Lozada is being treated as a guest by the Senate, and that the latter may freely leave the Senate premises after giving his testimony.

News Latest News Feed