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Feb 10

The letter

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JDV3 on phone; Lacson as early bird

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Nuns in the gallery; more senators arrive

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Villar surveys his domain; reporters around JDV3

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Atty. Princesa, Lozada’s lawyer, schmoozes; the two Manuels in a huddle

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Roxas talks to reporters; Lozada enters the Session Hall

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Lozada greets nuns; sits down

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Joint meetings called to order; Lozada prepares

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Lozada takes oath; Enrile during the lunch break

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Enrile rushes off; Lozada returns from lunch

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Lozada talks to Roxas and Cayetano; Bro. Armin of La Salle joins the huddle

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Huddle; Cayetano resumes hearing

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Lozada looks at photos of his abduction

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Estrada enjoying his moment with the photos; Lozada peers at the photos

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Enrile attempts cross-examination

The Inquirer editorial today, ‘Hacenderos’, quotes a portion of Randy David’s Saturday column, Greed in a changing landscape. A lengthier extract makes for instructive reading:

Like the feudal socioeconomic base in which it is rooted, traditional politics is authoritarian and arbitrary. Official power is but an extension of the private interests of the patron. Yet the relationship between the patron and his followers has a moral dimension. In exchange for the support and protection that the patron gives to his dependents, he claims their allegiance and undying gratitude. That is why the greatest sins in traditional society are treachery and ingratitude. This was the principal motif of De Venecia’s speech as he bowed to the rudeness of market politics.

This is a point I have tried to develop in previous columns: that the terms of traditional politics are changing right under the nose of its doomed players. The old values that used to mitigate the oppressiveness of feudal power — self-restraint, the value of friendship, loyalty, word of honor, etc. — are fading away. What is replacing the grip of old-world politics, however, is not the ethical professionalism of modern politics but the sheer rapaciousness of the parvenus of present-day Philippine politics. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s presidency is emblematic of this kind of transitional politics, still traditional and oppressive in every way but shorn of any redeeming qualities. No qualms, no shame, no conscience, no limit.

A society can get indefinitely stuck in this half-way stage between the old and the new. In this ambiguous state, the stench of decadence is sensed everywhere, acting as an incitement to corrosive cynicism or to moral conservatism. The passage to the new is finally cleared only after a wrenching effort is forced upon the society by the imperatives of system survival in a changed environment.

That wrenching moment is brought about by perturbations that occur with increasing frequency. The pressure for change is felt at the individual and societal levels. The reluctant and terrified whistle-blower Rodolfo Noel Lozada Jr. exemplifies the personal insecurity that an individual, caught in this transition, experiences as he comes face to face with the ugly side of a gangster regime. He sees how defenseless he is as he unburdens himself of the guilt of an entire system.

As for the administration falling over itself trying to extract itself from a mess of its own making, as far as its culpability is concerned, why even Solita Monsod says it’s Obvious!

Today, Vicente Romano III, co-convenor of the Black & White Movement, released an article Jun Lozada wrote back in October, 2007. It first appeared on line in PinoyPress at 7:53 pm. The Senate is expected to grill Lozada on this. The version here is unedited.

Here is Enteng Romano’s introductory note:

Dear Friends,

Here’s a short write-up that Jun Lozada wrote sometime in October. He wanted me to disseminate it without attribution. I believe he was motivated both by his genuine concern for a beleaguered friend who was being maligned no end, and his desire, even then, for the truth to somehow surface. He left it up to me as to how and when to disseminate it.

I did not find any compelling reason to get it out then. But now that Jun has told it all, and Neri is being invited back to testify, I believe the public deserves to know what was (and maybe still is) in the mind of Neri — at least from the point of view of a friend. I’m sure Jun will not mind.Let’s get this out in the open.

God bless,

Enteng

And here is Jun Lozada’s article:

What is Neri afraid to say and Why?

Many speculations have been made as to what Neri knows about the ZTE-NBN most particularly the direct involvement of Pres. Gloria Arroyo in this abominable affair. After his damaging “Sec. May 200 ka dito” demolition of Abalos, the discredited former Comelec Chairman, many were left disappointed when Neri suddenly clamped up when the Senators started asking him about the nature of his conversation with Arroyo, no amount of coaxing, cajoling and threats was enough to break his Code of Omerta. The question on many people’s mind was, What was Neri trying to protect when he repeatedly invoked “Executive Priviledge” during that gruelling 12 hour Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on live television?

We have known the Truth all along as one of the few people that Neri confided his predicament during those fateful days of April 2006, and how he wanted to resign his post of NEDA Director General and Secretary for Socio-Economic Planning over this incident where he lost all his moral respect for Pres. Gloria Arroyo.

We are doing this document to give the public an understanding of this predicament.

What is Neri afraid to tell the public? He is afraid to tell the public that after he reported the Abalos P200 million peso bribe offer, Arroyo casually told him to ignore it and work for its recommendation for approval anyway. That when he protested that it is too controversial and may attract the wrong kind of attention from media, Arroyo retorted back “Pakulo lang ni Joey yan and his father”. When he tried to reason that it may not be accommodated in the Chinese ODA package because it has been filled up with a list of projects already, Arroyo again ordered him to remove the low cost housing project and some water project to accommodate the ZTE-NBN deal in the ODA loan. That when he attempted to reason that it may not be approved in time for the Boao Forum which was only two days to go from that fateful April day, Arroyo with raised voice told him to include the ZTE-NBN project in the agenda of the following day’s meeting of a combined NEDA Board and Cabinet Committee, who as expected promptly approved the project paving the way for the contract signing between ZTE and DOTC in China the next day. Neri is afraid to tell the public that this conversation took place between him and Arroyo because it might spark another impeachment complaint against Arroyo.

Why is Neri afraid to tell the public about this conversation with Arroyo? He is afraid that another impeachment will simply result to more expenses of public funds similar to the Hyatt 10 impeachment crisis, because as DBM Secretary who replaced Boncodin, he was entrusted with the large scale DBM payola operation of Arroyo to Congressmen, Senators and Governors not quite similar to the crude Panlilio incident that the public is witnessing now. He is afraid with a more partisan Andaya at the helm of DBM, more public funds will be spent to buy the silence and favour of these greedy legislators and local executives. He is afraid that with Arroyo’s firm control of public funds she can buy all the necessary support from most sectors of society to keep her in power.

He is afraid that even if the opposition knows about this conversation with Arroyo, he is afraid that the opposition will not pursue a serious impeachment proceedings against Arroyo, because it is not to their political interest that Noli de Castro becomes President in case Arroyo is impeached and becomes a more formidable political opponent in 2010. This insincere and unpatriotic goal of the opposition is already being manifested by the malicious speed that the Erap pardon is being cooked by Ronnie Puno together with the Erap camp to hastily put a united front of “Birds of the same corrupt feather” coalition against the emerging JDV led political opposition.

He is afraid that even if the Church knows the truth about Arroyo’s direct involvement in the ZTE-NBN deal, the Church will still not call for her resignation due to the closeness of Arroyo’s trusted lady liason to the Cardinal of Manila who was very effective during the “Hello Garci” crisis. That Arroyo’s Religious Affairs Operators have the Bishops firmly in their “donation” graces, as again manifested by the quick rebuttal of the Mindanao Bishops’ of the call of their fellow bishops in Luzon who where calling for the resignation of Arroyo just after Arroyo gave them a visit in Mindanao.

He is afraid that even if the military knows the truth about Arroyo’s direct involvement in the fraudulent ZTE-NBN deal, the AFP brass is much to indebted to Arroyo for their position and the perks that goes with their position, that they have demonstrated this twisted loyalty with their willingness to detain, remove from the service and even shoot their own men for voicing out their legitimate concerns regarding the corruption and moral authority of their Commander in Chief. It is a sad spectacle to see the respected warriors of the Marines & Special Forces rot in jail with their ideals, while their men are dying even without receiving the measly P150 per day combat pay that was promised to them by Arroyo due to lack of funds & generals gets a gift bag similar to those given to the governors and congressmen just for having dinner with Arroyo the day after that infamous breakfast & lunch meeting where bribe money flowed scandalously free.

He is afraid that even if the Media knows the truth about Arroyo’s direct involvement in the ZTE-NBN scam, Media will simply wither in the torrents of cash and favors similar to how the Hyatt 10, Hello Garci crisis were killed in the media headlines and Radio& TV coverages. Although he believes in the integrity of a handful of Journalist, he believes that a handful of these mavericks cannot withstand the hordes of paid lackeys of Malacanang. Especially that the Arroyo crisis team is now being handled by the best mercenary money can buy, from Ramos Sulo Operation, Erap’s DILG and now Arroyo’s troubleshooter, Ronnie Puno. Ably supported by the Media and PR money from PAGCOR being handled by Cerge Remonte to buy positive airtime, headlines and editorials.

He is afraid that even if the Business Sector knows about the truth of Arroyo’s direct involvement to defraud the coffers of the taxes they are paying, the businessmen will be reluctant to rock the boat of the current economic uptrend, especially with the very close personal and business relationship of the so called leaders of the big business like Ricky Razon of ICTSI, Donald Dee of PCCI and Francis Chua of the Filipino-Chinese Federation to Arroyo herself. He is afraid that the hard earned remittances of Filipino OFWs that is keeping the economy booming and that can keep the economy afloat even under any administration is being wasted under this unholy alliance of Arroyo and her favoured businessmen.

He is afraid that even if the Civil Society knows the truth about Arroyo’s direct involvement in the ZTE-NBN deal, that the Civil Society is now tired of mass actions after witnessing two failed EDSA revolutions, that Civil Society is now afflicted with a “Rally Fatigue” and cannot muster enough public outrage to denounce Arroyo’s “corruption with impunity”. He is afraid that the middle class is now indifferent to the corruption that goes around them, not realising that the middle class are the ones mainly carrying the burden of the loan payments for these corrupt deals. He is afraid that the middle class are more interested to become an OFW & to leave this country leaving their family and children behind, and may not care anymore about the crimes being committed against their country by its own President.

He is afraid that even if the Masa, the students, the workers knows the truth about Arroyo’s direct involvement in the ZTE-NBN deal to steal precious resources from public funds, that they are now too poor and impoverished to be able to afford the time to join mass actions against the abuses of the Arroyo administration, that these former vanguards of mass actions in the country are now completely dependent on financial resources of professional organizers and have turned themselves into a “Rally for hire” groups rather than a true and genuine political gathering shouting for reforms.

He is afraid that the public may not know the extent of corruption in this country and may wrongly believe that they can cure corruption by simply replacing Arroyo with another person. He is afraid that the public may overlook the systemic and institutionalized nature of the source of corruption in this country, he is afraid that the people will again opt for a regime change without concern or a plan to correct the root causes of corruption in the country. He is afraid that people may not realize that it is not bringing Arroyo down that is difficult, it is establishing a new order that is the difficult task.

This is the predicament of Neri which I want people to realize especially to those who are asking Neri to tell the truth.

A critical reading of the above, together with the statements of Lozada in public late last week, as well as his conversations off-camera, so to speak, but which he said could be quoted, will, I think, illuminate in the public’s mind how Lozada sees himself and his past principals. I went over this in a previous entry, which in amended form is my column for today, Hold the line.
Fr. Joaquin Bernas, SJ discusses how officials go about Shielding the President .

266 comments

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  1. nash

    @grd

    “getting access to state funds… nash @nash, is this true or tsismis? that’s a very strong statement”

    As far as I know, Mike Defensor has no official function in government (or if he does, nothing at all related to NAIA “hatid-sundo”) at the moment so I don’t understand why he is all over the place. As to the P50K, that’s really hard to trace given our not so stringent accounting procedures. It could be his personal money…but then again this is a man who lost in the recent elections after having spent x millions…and as far as his last SAL shows (if you believe SALs), he is hardly someone who can draw 50k of personal money in an instant and not feel the pinch…(But then again what do I know, baka na they are very good friends ni Lozada…)

  2. titanium

    and what about your hate, nash? clearly, it’s not just political, it’s more personal (ang dating). what are you a jilted lover or an unpaid debtor? your endless personal diatribes are boring. you are lowering the quality of this blog. do us a favor, go were you belong and stay there.

  3. The Ca t

    I am not making fun your right to spirituality but I have the right to find offense in a priest who claims he can raise people from the dead.

    If you are really following the news, father fernando suarez does not even claim that he is the healer but it is God.

    Why don’t you just let the people believe in what they want to believe. It won’t kill you.

    If you want to express your opinion about the issue, you could have done that where articles and blogs were made for that purpose.

    I had that blog for the clarification of the issues raised by the two bishops.

    Jm is right that this is not a matter of religiosity. It is more of spirituality which state of development is not the same for everyone.

    The discussion about the morality of Defensor and GMA is out of topic.

    As commenters in this blog, we have also the think about the susceptibility of the blog owner to libel case that may be brought upon him by people concerned. There was already a precedent, so it is no longer impossible to bring another for conviction.

  4. titanium

    abe margallo & devilsadv. ousting gma and installing noli in her place will not solve any problem. either noli will maintain the status quo (not knowing any better), or he would surround himself with representatives of the forces whom he “owes”, or claiming credit, for his assumption to power – another round of bitter competition for the spoils that would put the country back to the road to perdition. i don’t think noli has the capacity nor gravitas to lead the country, and he would be an easy prey to the vultures and jackals ready to pounce at the first opportunity. i don’t think he is equipped to maintain the course of our improving economy, let alone steer the country to prosperity. i think anything that would destroy the existing order by extra-constitutional means, no matter how well-intentioned, is a recipe for the worst kind of disaster.

    devils, you prescription for a revolution would not work unless you have some assurance that the forces that would prevail when the smoke of battle is gone would be as good, if not better, than that which is being replaced. as the saying goes, better a devil that you already know than one that you have yet to know.

  5. Geo

    Those of you who advocate violent revolution…you better make sure that the vast majority of the country specifically wants a) a bloody battle, and b) your leaders to rule as they see fit. If that’s not the case, just what would be the purpose of such an exercise?

    Titanium — The opposition and Prez-waanbees’ gambit could be to get Noli in the Prez seat now…and then use the “look what happened when GMA was allowed to run!” argument in order to bar him in 2010. A very convenient way to eliminate a favorite.

    The risk is that Noli becomes President now, then uses the machinery to get himself elected in 2010. Then here we go again…..

  6. nash

    @ C at

    “Why don’t you just let the people believe in what they want to believe. It won’t kill you.”

    PRECISELY. I support EVERYONE’s right to chose their religion. And whatever cures anyone is good.

    …and I am just expressing my non-violent right of expressing my opinion that such healers are dabbling quackery.

    True, I have read Fr. Suarez explicitly states that it is God who cures and not him, but then again you have to be Roman Catholic don’t you? Call me when Fr. Suarez starts healing Muslim and Buddhists. This is like my doctor telling me “Oh, hmm. Sorry, penicillin doesn’t work for you because you are the wrong sort”. No. If God was channeling himself through Suarez, Suarez would not be so discriminating, and the last time I checked, Jesus wasn’t even Catholic. (Although I am…)

    cheers

  7. The Ca t

    Call me when Fr. Suarez starts healing Muslim and Buddhists.

    He heals only those who come and ask for his prayers.

    Do yo think they’re going to come too? Btw, he does remote healing too and he does not ask if you are a Catholic or not. His requirements for healing are not even the Catholic mandated dogma.

  8. titanium

    geo, that’s a good point but the opposition wannabees cannot make that argument because noli would have the constitutional right to run in 2010, in any event. they don’t have to “allow” it but you can be sure, they will find a way to oust him by hook or by crook before his term ends and i don’t think he will be as strong as gma to resist it.

  9. tehmuffinman

    Just wanted to share a little story that my Theology 141 teacher told us in Ateneo. A few days back, he and Mr. Bobby Guevarra (one of the more venerable Theo teachers) were watching the news about Jun Lozada on TV. He could see the Bobby was very disappointed. He said that one of his students a LONG time ago was none other than Rep. Mikey Arroyo. Apparently, the president’s son back then had a borderline failing grade in Th141. However, he decided to pass him since “kawawa naman siya. Graduating din naman siya kaya ipinagbigyan nalang.”

    What would things be like if Bobby Guev flunked Mikey Arroyo all those years ago?

  10. inodoro ni emilie

    What would things be like if Bobby Guev flunked Mikey Arroyo all those years ago?

    eh di department head ng blue babbles.

  11. TonGuE-tWisTeD

    “DevilsAdvc8 :
    so Tounge (sic), Bayani Fernando for president?”

    Bayani and I belong to the same industry before he found a generous employer (gov’t) that paid him more than his failed businesses. His economics is poor, management style creative but dictatorial. His construction firm was was taken over and blacklisted by SM because he took shortcuts to pad his profits but Hans and Henry discovered it early on and afterwards, BF’s flagship company took a free fall.

    His projects in Marikina are admirable, yes, including some here in MMDA. But his dictatorial tendencies were getting the best of him again especially that one where his trucks used wet rags to make commuters fall in line. Then the bolos for traffic enforcers! Outrageous.

    BF might be the perfect Gloria clone and definitely not the type of benevolent dictator some of us here want.

    I prefer a Lacson-type of disciplinarian.

  12. anthony scalia

    Cehz,

    “What I do hope is…. That a legislation will come out from all this and put the dysfunctional procurement process in its proper order and protect it from the 22% commissions”

    asa ka pa. mauuna pa ang committee report kaysa sa ‘legislation’ whose birth was ‘midwifed’ by the ‘investigations’!

    thats the trouble with the ‘investigations’ – a pending bill isn’t necessary for an investigation to be conducted

  13. anthony scalia

    Tongue,

    Bayani or Lacson or Duterte?

    Duterte will surely get the whole Mindanao vote. The Visayas might get an “Imperial Manila” phobia and go with Mindanao.

  14. Bert

    “What would things be like if Bobby Guev flunked Mikey Arroyo all those years ago?–tehmuf

    The same, tehmuf! He will still be tong, er, congressman, mike will still be his father, the NBN deal cooked, and lozada fried by the cooks.

  15. justice league

    Anthony Scalia,

    In the Presidential elections 10 years ago; at least 5 Presidential candidates came from Luzon namely Estrada, De Venecia, Roco, Lim, Enrile. More if you consider Renato De Villa from Batangas (not sure though), Manoling Morato from Quezon City. I don’t know where Santiago Dumlao came from.

    From Visayas came Lito Osmena, Miriam Defensor Santiago, Imelda Marcos.

    To whom did the Mindanao vote go to?

  16. Anne

    They’re all a bunch of thieves fighting over their share of the loot.
    Why do I feel deja vu?

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