Lozada Offered Free Legal Aid by MABINI Lawyers

Manila Bulletin, February 13, 2008 | Go to article overview

Lozada Offered Free Legal Aid by MABINI Lawyers


Byline: KRIS BAYOS

Lawyers of the Movement of Attorneys for Brotherhood, Integrity and Nationalism Inc. (MABINI) have offered free legal assistance to Rodolfo Lozada Jr., the star witness in the Senate inquiry into the ZTE-NBN case.

Makati Mayor Jejomar C. Binay said the MABINI board of trustees decided to extend its support to Lozada in the wake of plans by former Commission on Elections Chairman Benjamin Abalos and Malacanang to file charges against the former government executive.

Founded during the martial law regime, MABINI is the country's leading association of human rights lawyers.

Binay also called on other lawyers to come to the aid of Lozada, who has drawn the ire of Malacanang and allies of Mrs. Arroyo for his revelations before the Senate. In his testimony, Lozada linked First Gentleman Mike Arroyo, Abalos, and other Arroyo allies to alleged bribery and overpricing in the national government's broadband program.

In a statement, MABINI said it found Lozada's testimony "extraordinarily credible," and expressed concern over reports that some of the personalities mentioned by Lozada had threatened to file charges against him in court.

"As practicing lawyers, we find the testimony of Mr. Lozada to be extraordinarily credible. Instead of pointing to the inaccuracies of such statement of facts, as may be expected of those who believe him to be relating falsehoods, the affected parties have retaliated by threatening him with a variety of lawsuits," said MABINI, an association of human rights lawyers founded during the martial law regime.

The group added that their humble offer to Lozada and his family is its way to rue the misuse of the legal process where "numbers of lawyers are willing to be instruments of legal oppression to defeat the search for truth. …

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