DZIQ: Lozada offers advice to fellow whistle-blowers
MANILA, Philippines—Once one plunges into the life of a whistle-blower, there’s no turning back.
In an interview with Cecile Lardizabal on her show “Magtanong Kay Cecile” on Radyo Inquirer on Tuesday night, National Broadband Network-ZTE deal whistle-blower Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada said he has accepted that his previous life was gone already.
“Since I testified [against the anomalous NBN-ZTE deal] three years ago, I had to live in a convent for security reasons. It has been three months since my family and I have returned to our house but it’s not the same anymore. The security issues are still there,” Lozada said.
Then again, he said he has no regret for what he did. He recently served as part of a support group to former state auditor Heidi Mendoza and retired Colonel George Rabusa, two state witnesses against massive graft and corruption in the military.
Lozada said he’s now trying to start all over again, being the breadwinner. “I am surprised to find that it still takes months to get a business permit.”
Lozada is father to five children, the eldest aged 18 and the youngest are nine-year-old twins.
He is back doing IT consultancy jobs for different schools. “I’m trying my best to give them a better life,” he said.
The botched NBN-ZTE deal during the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo allegedly involved then First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, Comelec chairman Benjamin Abalos and other key government officials.
Lozada was president of the Philippine Forest Corporation for three years and IT consultant to various government projects like the US$329-million NBN-ZTE deal.
When asked by Lardizabal if the big fish in the NBN-ZTE scam is possibly the same big fish that Mendoza and Rabusa will name in future hearings on the AFP corruption, Lozada said in jest the big fish is actually not big, physically. On a serious tone, he said, “We all know who because everything happened during her term.”
On the late Secretary Angelo “Angie” Reyes, he said he hoped the general’s life will not be lost in vain.
“I read somewhere Angie said that his biggest fault is to accept corruption as a fact of life. So I hope his action, [that of] taking his life, would lead to something,” Lozada said.
He advised Mendoza, Rabusa and future whistle-blowers not to lose hope and continue fighting for the truth.
“You can label me as a ‘been there, done that’ guy and I can tell you, it’s worth it,” Lozada said. “It’s a big help we have a leader who is willing to go against the tide. Leadership plays a big factor.”
For the full interview, listen to the attached audio clip from Radyo Inquirer. Keep tuned in to DZIQ 990 AM Radyo Inquirer. Visit www.dziq.am
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