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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    • simounplaridel on February 10, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    Something’s gotta give.

    • bmv on February 10, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    Dealing with Dragons

    Once upon a time there was a city nestled in a valley filled with fertile fields and bountiful orchards. The people were generally hardworking and as a result, the city grew large and prospered. Then one day, a fearsome dragon appeared and threatened to destroy the city if the people refused to give in to its demands. The beast’s demand was this: that in return for the safety of the city, the people should offer the dragon a human sacrifice each new moon.

    After long hours of discussion, the leading citizens of the city decided to accept the dragon’s terms. To the delight of the people, the arrangement actually seemed to work in their favor, for the human sacrifices were gleaned from among the city’s burgeoning population of thieves, bandits, beggars, whores and rebels. As a result, peace and order reigned and the city continued to prosper.

    But with the passage of time, the dragon grew larger, and so did it’s appetite. Within a year, the dragon had begun demanding two victims a month. Then sacrifices on a weekly basis. Pretty soon, the number of victims rose to five a week, so that within the space of three years, there were no undesirables left in the city. So the leading citizens met once again to discuss a system for choosing victims. To make things fair, they set up a weekly lottery to determine who the sacrifices would be.

    Once in a while, some brave soul would urge the citizens to band together and slay the dragon. However, terrified of reprisals, most city dwellers shunned these calls.The few who dared pit themselves against the monster were easily defeated. Soon, the dragon was demanding ten victims a week.

    Ending 1:
    At some point, the leaders of the city thought to themselves, “Enough is enough! This can’t go on. The dragon must go!” So the remaining citizens armed themselves with swords and spears and marched out of the city gates to drive out their oppressor.

    Unfortunately for them, the beast had by then grown too huge and powerful to be defeated by so small an army. Within minutes the dragon devoured every single one and had flown off to find a new city to plague.

    Ending 2:
    Now there was a wizard among the people who was well-versed in dragon lore. “Don’t worry,” he said. “A dragon’s lifespan is six years. We can wait this one out. We only have a year or two to go.” And so the people decided to keep the status quo.

    The wizard was right of course. One summer day, the dragon keeled over in the middle of its supper and died. When news of its demise reached the city, you can imagine how the survivors cheered and rejoiced!

    That is until they heard a deafening roar resounding through the valley and realized too late. . . Dragons lay eggs.

    • ay_naku on February 11, 2008 at 12:06 am

    The hubris of the coward Neri to assume he can decide by himself what’s best for the nation. Does he fancy himself to be some sort of a seer that he can foretell the course of events if he tells the truth?

    So he preferred lying and cover-up of massive anomalies over the truth? He preferred continued enormous pillage and misrule by the administration over the chance to change things, however small he thinks this chance is? Surely a glimmer of hope is superior to giving in to the suffocating darkness of the Arroyo regime? And isn’t public office a public trust, and he owes the people the truth?

    It’s appropriate that many of the sentences in the letter begins with “He is afraid that…” because Neri has proven himself to be a pathetic coward. He should be afraid for his soul.

    • ay_naku on February 11, 2008 at 12:16 am

    @ bmv, me like the dragon story. Can there still be an ending 3, a happy ending perhaps?

    • UP n student on February 11, 2008 at 12:38 am

    @bmv: I saw that story, too, but in the version I saw, the village asked the bishop for advice, and the bishop called in the United Nations for help. It took 8 years for the United Nations to act, first, because China says “…wrong for outsiders to meddle in internal affairs of other villages”, then later so they can accumulute the troops and helicopters and artillery. By then, the eggs had multiplied. The war rages.

    • baycas on February 11, 2008 at 1:05 am

    then…N.earing E.xpectation, R.omy I.nhibited.

    now…he has to face his F.alse E.xpectations A.ppearing R.eal.

    • magdiwang on February 11, 2008 at 1:26 am

    I took pains in reading the Lozada testimony and there was nothing that I found incriminating. He might be telling the truth but he will have to at least substantiate these allegations before he can convince a lot of us on the sidelines to believe him. The senate, media, parts of the catholic church are being used by certain quarters to malign the government. They should at least done their homework before putting him on the stand to look credible. The way it stand right now is that there is too much accusations but lacking in evidence. People are not that naive to believe him. Peace.

    • Bert on February 11, 2008 at 1:53 am

    Me too, I read a similar story, with a bit of a variation. In the story I read, the dragon’s eggs hatched already and partaking of the sacrifices. But the dragon, herself, has everlasting life because the hatched eggs has some minions that change the charter to extend the dragon’s life forever. The greed that followed, not having been moderated, consumed the land, conflagration followed, and the people perished, so did the dragon and the hatched eggs.

  1. Arroyo officials set to testify in Senate’s NBN probe

    In a phone interview, Ermita said allowing the members of the Senate and the general public to listen to the side of Environment Secretary Lito Atienza, Philippine National Police chief Avelino Razon Jr. and Commission on Higher Education Chair Romulo Neri, among others, would “provide a clearer picture” of the latest development in the NBN-ZTE controversy.

    talaga? pati si Neri?

    reminded me of this Heroes quote from character Nathan Petrelli

    “$200 M makes me a politician in your pocket, $400 M makes me a governor.”

    naisip ko kay Neri

    threatening my family makes me a silent technocrat in your pocket, cultivating my hubris makes me yours for free.

    • Francis on February 11, 2008 at 2:14 am

    Kung matutulungan sana nang Senate si (financially and in getting more evidence) Lozada ma prosecute ang PNP sa pag abduct sa kanya, it would be a good start sa pag bawas sa mga DRAGON.

    yung pag kidnap kasi ke Lozada merong mga ebidensya at knowledge of PNP chief.

    Sana ang next scenario is find the PNP guilty and have the PNP chief sacked.

    • vic on February 11, 2008 at 2:28 am

    Self-crimination 13. A witness who testifies in any proceedings has the right not to have any incriminating evidence so given used to incriminate that witness in any other proceedings, except in a prosecution for perjury or for the giving of contradictory evidence.

    Like to address the above Provision of our Charter to Justice League if it is also one of the Provisions in the Philippines Charter. A Mechanism to discourage witnesses from perjuring themselves for fear that their testimonies maybe used against them in other proceedings..

    • kimosabe27 on February 11, 2008 at 3:12 am

    “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…”

    Cases in point, the frontpage of PDI where Arroyo is displayed prominently with Archbishop Rosales at her side. A picture indeed is worth more than a thousand words. Moreover, the preponderance of articles which aim either to “humanize” Arroyo or to downplay the effect of the Lozada testimony(e.g. “the President is in pains” article and a rejoinder in the concluding paragraph of a PDI news article which is based on the conclusions of unnamed political analysts.)

    Broadshit bs.

    • Betol on February 11, 2008 at 3:21 am

    I don’t normally follow politics, Philippine or otherwise, other than my fixation with the OBAMA-NATION(not the candidate), but this is one intriguing drama that just keeps on giving! I yawned and fell into deep comatose when this saga first appeared in Mr. Quezon, III’s blog some months ago, and stayed in that state whenever it reappeared again and again and again in this blog. Then this seemingly insignificant government employee supposedly gets kidnapped and is thrust into the limelight, deer in the headlights look and all. Now I’m intrigued, not because this may develop into more chaos, but because of the human element involved.

    • BrianB on February 11, 2008 at 5:24 am

    Well, don’t we know this already? The massive disillusionment of our people, the CRIMINAL cynicism of our elite. The bishops are accessories, these Generals are accessories, these Congressmen are accessories to the crimes perpetrated by the leader of this nation.

    People, look at what you’re asking Neri to do. You’re asking him to act as leader to the tectonic change that we say we wish to happen, and we don’t even want it enough.

    • BrianB on February 11, 2008 at 5:42 am

    ALL,
    Do you agree i Neri’s and Lozada’s analyses?

    • ECRider on February 11, 2008 at 5:51 am

    Mike Defensor to Jun Lozada:

    “Dada-anin lang naman namin yan sa media”

    • phil on February 11, 2008 at 6:22 am

    We as Filipinos are systematically being destroyed because of the lies, all the never ending spins, and we must strongly oppose this oppression

    Hannah Arendt wrote “It has frequently been noticed that the surest long term result of brainwashing is a peculiar kind of cynicism, a refusal to believe in the truth of anything no matter how well this truth may be established. In other words, the result of a consistent and total substitution of lies for factual truth is not that the lies will now be accepted as truth and the truth be defamed as lies but that the sense by which we take our bearings in the real world – and the category of truth versus falsehood is among the mental means to this end – is being destroyed.

    • baycas on February 11, 2008 at 7:47 am

    neri need not fear the darkness…
    neri, go near the light jun (lozada) has followed…

    • bmv on February 11, 2008 at 8:19 am

    @ay_naku
    The ending really depends on us, doesn’t it?

    • mang_isko on February 11, 2008 at 8:27 am

    enough with this instigation of communal action! dating tuloy nito parang communism!

    best solution nito pumili po tayo ng politikong may respeto sa sarili!

    kala nyo kong magreresign ang isang presidente matatahimik na ang pilipinas!

    hindi ah!

    let her end her term. bahala syang manigas sa kahihiyan.

    para yong susunod na presidente magiging maaliwalas ang pag-serve ng bansa at hindi galing sa gulo!

    avoid being our nation a banana republic!

    • bmv on February 11, 2008 at 8:27 am

    The examples of Neri, Bolante, Lorenzo, et al should be a warning that working for this government is dangerous to your health. It’s like trying to wrestle Brer Rabbit’s tar baby.

    • Mita on February 11, 2008 at 8:35 am

    Ya know…Lozada’s letter would’ve been effective..WOULD HAVE BEEN. Every time he mentions corruption I can’t help but remember that he himself was a perpetrator of corruption in government. He may be small fry and his deals were small fry in comparison – but shit, man! The hypocrisy raises my bile.

    Chavit was different. He was an insider like Lozada but he never presented himself as a saint or protector of the country’s morality.
    ==========

    Francis,

    How can he prosecute the PNP…he said himself he contacted Atienza to help him out upon his arrival. That’s the time Atienza called the PNP. That’s why the word “misunderstanding” was used by Lozada himself when he described this “abduction” is because without his REQUEST for assistance, brought about by his fear of being under the Senate’s custody – the PNP would not have gotten involved. If things turned out differently, we’ll never know now, will we?

    • mlwnag on February 11, 2008 at 8:36 am

    Ginagalit lang ng media ang mga tao para isabong sa Feb. 25.

    • hvrds on February 11, 2008 at 9:05 am

    Pork barrel politics, crony capitalism are embedded in the practice of state capitalism.

    Monetary nationalism has been the boon and the bane of the 20th century. The role of the U.S. in utilizing monetary imperialism in maintaining the status quo that is primary responsible for keeping countries subservient an dependent.

    The support given to autocratic governments who are more corrupt than they are not is key to keeping control of emerging economies. THE IMF-WB are premier proponents of pork barrel for economies. They will loan funds for projects that will directly benefit foreign capital rather than domestic capital. Their own.

    The Chinese government pork barrel projects for weak economies is no different.

    The Filipino people should be made more aware that the domestic budget covers primarily pork barrel projects. However the multilateral, bilateral agreements cover internationl pork barrel projects that are done with almost no oversight. They almost always will work themselves into the budget in debt payments.

    The Ramos years gave us an example of this fiasco with the IPP’s in the energy industry.

    The payoff in billions of dollars makes Ferdinand and Imelda (our failed monarchs)look like shoplifters. The ten year projected supply of dollars from OFW’s at a constant $15 Billion x 10 = $150 billion. That can pay for a lot of foreign initiated and foreign built infrastructure for the Philippines. Marcos left the country with a foreign debt of $25 billion. Thanks to the OFW’s for now the old bane of a balance of payments problem has been solved. We can keep runing merchandise trade deficts long into the future.

    Neri has had a long stretch working within the system. He has prospered with the rest of them. This is the system.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2008/02/08/AR2008020802557.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

    • bmv on February 11, 2008 at 9:55 am

    to mang_isko :
    As to “respeto sa sarili”, I would think anyone who doesn’t stand up an act when basic human rights are violated (not just referring to Lozada’s abduction but the wiretapping of senators’ phones, garci, fertilizer scam, etc.)has no “respeto sa sarili.” Character is not just about what you believe, it is about what you do. As to which ending you picked in my story (see above), it’s kinda obvious where you stand. Why should the next president fear or respect the will of the people when they don’t stand up for truth, justice, etc.?

    to Mita:
    Obviously you haven’t been following the news (or are distorting it?). Lozada went out of his way to claim he wasn’t a hero or a saint and readily admitted there were things in the past that would make people lose their respect for him.he said “mea culpa” to some of Miriam’s charges.
    Also, it’s very easy to verify who’s telling the truth on the kidnapping issue. This is why the government is trying to avoid it.They’ve gotten caught in so many lies and inconistencies, haha.

  2. Gloria’s fans are unsettled. They’re everywhere. In every blog, radio show, TV talk show, text-in chat, web forum, they all sound the same. They sound just like the lapdogs in Malacañang.

    The more they discredit Lozada, the more they show their panic. The more they panic, the more credible Lozada becomes.

    Attention and Interest has been captured. Desire and Action follows.

    • jude on February 11, 2008 at 10:39 am

    What Lozada says about Neri:

    “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.”

    Aren’t those valid apprehensions? I thought Lozada himself shared them, that’s why he was very emphatic at first about doing something regarding the dysfunction in government (and I would add, in Philippine society itself). I thought that Lozada brought up a very good point there.

    What I don’t buy is Lozada’s doublespeak about “permissible” levels of corruption. Corruption is corruption and there should be no tolerance for “permissible” levels of it, otherwise, like the proverbial dragon, it grows and grows and even lays eggs.

    • Geo on February 11, 2008 at 10:47 am

    I don’t know why the pro-GMA defenders would be panicking — there’s absolutely no threat to her. Even the FG can’t be touched by all of this “testimony”.

    Certainly, the anti-GMA crowd is rabidly excited…perhaps they think people will take to the streets or that an impeachment will be inevitable (in about a year).

    I think some people are like me — I am anti-anti-GMA because all of this noise and BS is threatening the economic health and momentum of the country. In fact, I see this as a threat to my children’s future.

    And it pisses me off because facts seem to be of little importance and emotional partisanship is the game of the day.

    And yes, when the anti-GMA crowd says I’m the admin’s lackey, it just proves (to me) that these accusers are blinded by hate.

    The anti-GMA crowd continues to completely misunderstand why their words do not resonate with the vast majority.

    • bmv on February 11, 2008 at 10:53 am

    to jude:
    Agreed. I further think good governance is about supporting people in their efforts to live good lives. Trouble is, that’s not the kind of governance we have. This government makes it harder for people to do what is right, to act with virtue. It would be nice if we each had a little island to retreat to avoid all this mess (and maybe some do). It would be nice if we were all lived comfortably enough not to have to dirty our hands dealing with this systemic evil. But some people have little choice in the matter. That’s the nature of “social sin.”

  3. BrianB, agree with the letter’s message? medyo oo, pero duda ako na si Neri may sulat nito eh. parang PR writer ang sumulat eh. structured yun letter para sa emotional provocation eh. saka inilabas pa yung letter ngayon lang. masyadong stage-managed.

    @mlwnag, bakit ano ba meron sa feb.25?

    @mita, looking past through the hypocrisy, and swallowing your bile, do you accept lozada’s testimony as true?

    people may be piqued by lozada’s apparent holier-than-thou attitude, but it doesn’t change the fact that his testimony is true.

    • Kabayan on February 11, 2008 at 10:59 am

    Nice story in “Dealing with Dragons”, bmv. It reminds me of another poem which I re-encountered in Equalizer’s blog…

    “There Was Nobody Left…

    When they came for the communists and the so-called leftists, I turned away

    When they came for the human rights activists and the radicals and the street protesters, I turned away

    When they came for the political opposition, and the critical civic society groups, and the journalists, and the independent thinkers, I turned away

    And when they came for me, I turned around and around, and there was nobody left…”

    … I read a similar story months before and little did I know that it would apply to JDV when his Speakership career was “summarily executed” by what he thought of as his allies and was left out to dry.

    During the vote for a new Speaker, he was probably thinking that “If only I listened and supported the opposition more…”(Yes he was forewarned but he primly said “Yes, I’m always watching my back”.) Ironically in the end it was the opposition, in their strategic move to choose the lesser evil, ended up trying to protect JDV. JDVs ears probably probed for more “No” votes but as the “Yes” votes piled up, his heart began to sink and in his mind was likely desperately asking, “Is there no one else rooting for me? Is there no one else?” His shriveled conscience could have whispered to him “But Mr. Former Speaker, there is no one left!”

    Thanks to his own thick faced maneuvering, he succeeded in limiting the opposition and protected his Liege Queen. He also set the stage for his own demise. Then a periodically quoted word resurfaced … Karma.

    Now he has to prove to the Filipino people that he has changed, is remorseful and start spilling the rotten beans accumulated during his stay as Speaker under her Liege Queen.

    As such, people should now take serious heed in the story “Dealing with Dragons”, for this could easily apply to the Filipino populace (yes including the Tongressmen wallowing in their hole) as well.

  4. este, si lozada pala. duda ako na si lozada sumulat.

    • ay_naku on February 11, 2008 at 11:18 am

    ALL, Do you agree in Neri’s and Lozada’s analyses? – BrianB

    In the article, Neri is portrayed as someone who’s afraid of some of the things that can POSSIBLY happen. But as bmv responded above, “The ending really depends on us, doesn’t it?” I still want to hold on to that belief (despite occasionial feelings of frustration and resignation), that cliche and corny as this may sound, the future’s still (somehow) in our hands. That we can do something. I’d still choose to hold on to a glimmer of hope –that we can still change things for the better– because really, for me personally, the alternative is worse (apathy and resignation.)

    So no, I can’t say that I necessarily share Neri’s fears.

    • JMCastro on February 11, 2008 at 11:19 am

    BrianB:

    I agree with Neri’s analysis, provided I accept his premises as fact. He paints a frightening picture:

    1. how to coopt the leaders of the church, military, business, politicians and police

    2. how to exploit poor people, the middle class, common military men

    3. how to marginalize leftist students and labor

    DevilsAdvc8, this is the typical way that the bright boys in NEDA write. The one time that I met some of ’em, I felt like I was in the middle of a nerd convention.

    • jude on February 11, 2008 at 11:19 am

    The fact is we never had a government that was supportive of people in their efforts to live good lives. Certainly not as far as I can recall, which is way back to the 1980’s.

    The point that Lozada (speaking for Neri) makes in that letter is that, unless there is systemic change, it will only be a game of musical chairs. Perhaps until a self-proclaimed liberator, or liberators, decide to take matters into their hands. This is a situation which has happened many times in different countries.

    • Kabayan on February 11, 2008 at 11:33 am

    Interesting article by Randy David, indeed the administration is getting “Medieval” on us.

    • Mita on February 11, 2008 at 11:43 am

    Devil’s Advocate,

    Yes I do believe him, which doesn’t make it FACTUAL or TRUTHFUL – and that’s the sad part. He himself said in the first press con, “This is a recounting of events regarding the NBN deal, as I experienced it.” His testimony is his PERCEPTION of how things went down. Everything else he said regards other people he did not directly speak to regarding this deal is legally just hearsay.

    Whether I, or anyone else for that matter, believe him or not doesn’t matter though, because whatever he says has to be supported by documents and another person, especially someone – JUST ONE- actually directly involved.

    Why you might ask – because if anyone is going to hang for Lozada’s words, we better make sure there are no ifs or buts…dapat full-proof because that is what LAW requires. But more importantly, because we’ve been there before…we have to learn our lesson.

    As for those going for the “Gloria fan” attack – before you make unfounded accusations and open your mouths, read what is being said because it just might make a difference.

    • Pilipinoparin on February 11, 2008 at 11:44 am

    I think the problems mentioned by Lozada are present, they are all over the mass media. Most Filipinos will agree with what he said. However, some have five senses but those senses are not correctly wired to their brains and hearts.

    The biggest problem is …we don’t know how to solve them or we know the solutions we just don’t have the backbones, everyone or most of us seem to have osteomalacia

    • JMCastro on February 11, 2008 at 11:47 am

    Mita:

    So what evidence will make you accept Lozada’s testimony as true? What is your test of truth?

    • JMCastro on February 11, 2008 at 11:51 am

    Mita:

    Just to elaborate, some legal cases tried in court, admittedly only some, are won only on the merit of truthfully delivered testimonies.

    • Jon Mariano on February 11, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    Grabe, GMA is so cold! Tanggalin ang low cost housing at iba pa para maipasok lang NBN deal…reminds me the movie “Dave” (Sigourney Weaver, Kevin Kline).

    • grd on February 11, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    este, si lozada pala. duda ako na si lozada sumulat…DevilsAdvc8

    mukhang mas angkop sabihing sulat ni enteng romano o di kaya ni de quiros.

    • 8thBushido on February 11, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Senate hearings are the convenient refuge of whistleblowers who, after being involved in anomalous transactions in government, spin tall tales and implicate persons in authority because of personal vendetta. We have had Mahusay, Ong, Zuce, Cam, etcetera before, and now, Lozada. His brother was killed in a botched police operation and I understand his rage to settle the score. Yet he enriched himself and his kin by using his position in government by distributing thousands of hectares of public lands to relatives and influential families. He maintains a fleet of luxury cars; multi-million peso transactions brokered by his wife and he admits to being a practitioner of government’s “dysfunctional procurement system.” He sought the help of Senator Lacson, who in turn conveniently used Lozada for his political ends, before turning into a supposed whistleblower. If Lozada’s case is “pot calling the kettle black,” I say let the courts decide.

    • Mike on February 11, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    Neri, for heaven’s sake, your friend’s taking the heat for you. Don’t hang him out to try. Not you, of all people.

    • Jon Mariano on February 11, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    Oh no, Lozada’s dirty linen are coming out! Who must have uncovered them? Will tainting this witness discredit his testimony?

  5. Plunder pala ang mangyayari. Wow according to Sen. Lacson, kahit na na cancel eh kung may advance na. plunder na yun!

    130 million dollars! Plunder nga!

    • JMCastro on February 11, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    Jon:

    My Philo teacher in college said something about tests of truth, and I’ve always remembered it —

    1. coherence
    2. correspondence with reality

    Following Lozada’s testimonies so far, it has been coherent and consistent.

    • tonio on February 11, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    neri’s still a cowardly, presumptuous bastard.

    and lozada is his geeky friend who turns crying to Senate after being complicit to government wrongdoing.

    what will become of this? who knows? the important question to ask now is who’s writing the script to this drama. that’s where things are going to go ultimately.

  6. There’s no script. The administratiion hopes and that this is scripted by someone but its not. This is a real nightmare for them.

    If ever somebody is to blame why this issue has blown out of proportion its because of their abduction of Lozada.

  7. here’s no script. The administratiion hopes and wish that this is scripted by someone but its not. This is a real nightmare for them.

    If ever somebody is to blame why this issue has blown out of proportion its because of their abduction of Lozada.

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