Court allows bail for Lozada, rejects Lim plea

Posted at 04/24/09 9:20 PM

A local court on Friday allowed NBN-ZTE star witness Rodolfo "Jun" Lozada to post bail after another court ordered his arrest over a perjury charge filed by former Presidential Chief of Staff Michael Defensor. 

In his decision, Manila Trial Court Branch 26 Judge Jorge Lorredo allowed Lozada to post bail for his provisional liberty. At the same time, Lorredo rejected Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim's petition for recognizance so he could take custody of Lozada.

In his petition, Lim told Lorredo that he personally knows Lozada, and that he would vouch for his character as a law-abiding citizen.

"On my recognizance, I request that accused (Lozada) be released to my custody, for his provisional liberty during the pendency of this case before this Court," he said.

Lim said he would ensure Lozada's appearance before the court, whenever required, and that the latter complies with the conditions of bail under the Rules on Criminal Procedure.

In submitting a two-page "application for recognizance" before the court, Lozada said he would apply for bail on recognizance by Lim, in lieu of surety, property or cash bail. If his application is granted, Lozada will remain in Greenhills, San Juan, but would be in Lim's custody while facing trial.

Judge Cicero D. Jurado Jr. of Manila RTC Branch 11 earlier ruled that contrary to the November 14, 2008 order of the Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 26, there was probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest against Lozada.

Lozada is the key witness in the much-publicized National Broadband Network- Zhong Xing Telecommunication Equipment Company Limited (NBN-ZTE) deal where he bared anomalies in the $329.5 million contact, and implicated First Gentleman Jose Miguel "Mike" Arroyo, former Commission on Elections Chairman Benjamin Abalos, and former National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) director-general Romulo Neri, among others.