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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    • ay_naku on February 12, 2008 at 2:48 am

    Chairman Romulo Neri of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said he does not know where Lozada got information that he was offered a P200-million bribe to approve the NBN project of the government. “How can he know? He was not there,” Neri told ABS-CBN News as Lozada testified at the Senate.

    Nyek, eh diba sya mismo (Neri) ang nag-kwento sa Senate hearing dati about the P200M bribe offer from Abalos? Paanong “he does not know where Lozada got information”, eh di malamang sa kanya.

    • Bencard on February 12, 2008 at 3:07 am

    devilsadc8, in the preceding thread, you reproduced mlq3’s presentation of the marcos’ diary chronicling the state of affairs around the time just before his declaration of martial law. although i was no longer in the country in the months prior to September, 1972, i lived through the instability and political unrest, among other problems, the country was undergoing at the time. the leftists/communists were gaining strength day by day; corruption and graft in government have become “a way of life”; criminality, both the petty and heinous kinds, was pandemic; poverty in urban centers and the countrysides were burgeoning; media abuses and irresponsibility remain unchecked, unable or unwilling to police itself; politician-statesmen were being displaced by overambitious and predatory demagogues, using “guns, goons and golds”. it seemed that the “democracy” we venerate, the principle that our fathers died for, were failing us.

    in the aftermath of marcos’ infamous reign, it was easy to dismiss his account as false propaganda, the ranting of an evil man obsessed with power, wealth and the perpetual adulation of his countrymen. viewed with a jaundiced eye, we take for granted the reasons why he had to impose martial rule, as though they were all fraudulently contrived.

    what was happening in the philippines in the period preceding September 18, 1972 is strikingly similar to what is now transpiring before our very eyes – except that now, the economy is finally showing signs of life.

    i shudder at the thought of another dictatorship becoming the ONLY option to fix our nation.

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

    Ay_naku,

    Di ba si Abalos mismo ang nagsabi niyan kay Lozada? At sabi naman niya kay Abalos, makiki balato na lang siya dun sa partihan?

    Talaga naman itong si Neri, nagkakalat ng husto. Sabi ng isang kaibigan kong Cebuano na taga Cagayan de Oro: “Oi, bayot, pakaulaw lang ka diha!”

    Another friend also gave this advice: “Maayo pa motug-an na lang ka ug tinuod Mr. Neri, basin ma libre pa imong kalag kang Luci.” (sorry, just between him and Neri)

    • hawaiianguy on February 12, 2008 at 3:14 am

    Bert,

    Bikolano ba si Joker? Baka hindi niya maintindihan yung sinabi mo kay Madonna.

    • hawaiianguy on February 12, 2008 at 3:49 am

    Vic,

    “Corruption prevention lesson l01: about 5 years of so ago, a corruption scandal erupted in Toronto City Hall..An IT lease agreement of $43 millions ballooned to $80 millions without the Council approval..allegations of lobbyists dining and wining Public Officials were exposed. Police was not able to prove probable cause…”

    This is a very good attempt to make govt transactions transparent for lobbyists, and for others to check what’s going on in govt projects.

    Problem is: Will a govt like the Philippines subject itself to such transparency? or allot resources to make it happen? or how could govt agencies be independent enough to resist a call from the president saying, “aprubahan mo na ito.”

    Even the Canadian case you cited is hampered by internal difficulties, like not having enough resources and personnel to monitor the process.

    Assuming that it does, the bidding procedures can be circumvented subtly by some govt crooks who seem to have mastered the art of corruption, or made inutile by reluctant participants because the system has “eaten” them up, in cahoots with particular contractors.

    A very good example of this “cleverness,” or dysfunctional system, is the anomalous P1.3 billion computerization project of Comelec, under Abalos, the same guy that Lozada is accusing of a huge $130 million kickback. If there is any use for this case, it’s just for the archives so law students may study and ponder about it.

    A couple of questions for the Senate, possibly in aid of legislation (rather than what Gloria and her protectors say “in aid of destabilization”):

    1) How could projects go, even for those govt-to-govt negotiations (loans), that make people adequately informed of the process?

    2) How should those agencies directly under the president gain enough autonomy to make judicious, transparent, accountable decisions?

    • ay_naku on February 12, 2008 at 4:40 am

    Ay_naku, Di ba si Abalos mismo ang nagsabi niyan kay Lozada? At sabi naman niya kay Abalos, makiki balato na lang siya dun sa partihan? – hawaiianguy

    Ah yeah. I missed that part when I was watching the hearing on TV last friday. Di ko din agad napansin sa papers. Pero kakabasa ko lang ngayon about it, John Nery mentioned it in his Inquirer column. To quote from that column:

    Consider Lozada’s confirmation of the P200-million bribe Benjamin Abalos, then the chairman of the Commission on Elections, reportedly offered Romulo Neri, then the socioeconomic planning secretary. Answering a question from Sen. Loren Legarda, Lozada took pains to note that his knowledge of the bribe was not based on Neri’s recollection of the offer. (It goes without saying that Neri must have told him, some time after it happened.)

    His knowledge was personal, Lozada said. It was based on a personal encounter with Abalos, at the Wack-Wack Golf Club, on the way to the locker room. With his arm around him, an ebullient Abalos told him he would release the P200 million for Neri as soon as the advances cleared. This is confirmation, not speculation.

    • hawaiianguy on February 12, 2008 at 4:43 am

    Ay_naku,

    Bulls eye!

    • nash on February 12, 2008 at 4:48 am

    @bencard

    “lozada has admitted to committing acts of moral turpitude while holding public office.”

    and yet by your standards GMA’s admission to influence peddling during the last election is ok lang. being selective are we? 😀

    • nash on February 12, 2008 at 4:50 am

    @Bert,

    😀

    Pasensiya na po, Igorot kasi ako, eh hindi po malalim na Tagalog lingua franca namin sa bundok.

    Hindi ko naman masisisi si GMA, dahil may pangangailangan siya at sa mala-baboy na hitsura ni FG Mike Arroyo, eh talagang pamatay libog. Buti nalang andiyan si Mike Defensor.

    • JMCastro on February 12, 2008 at 6:18 am

    I realized, after watching the hearing in the Senate yesterday, the value of a “blameless inquiry” (as Vic puts it). In my opinion, the very set-up of the inquiry, where Atienza, Razon, Bautista and Defensor is pitted against Lozada, is calculated to maximize the drama and controversy between all the personalities involved.

    I expect more statesman-like behavior from our senators. If the senators are primarily interested in uncovering the truth, Lozada really should not have been there.

    For crying out loud, Senator Lacson even asked about an alleged sexual harassment case against Atty. Bautista! Is there a better way for everyone concerned to find the truth? preferably one where the participants are not forced to take gladiatorial stances for the benefit of an anxious public?

  1. BrianB,
    Mike D. said he, together with his family and some nephews were in a resto to have dinner. It was his daughter’s birthday.

    I wonder if they were planning to order one roasted calf for each person that’s why they were carrying so much cash, aside from credit cards I’m sure he and his wife have plenty of.

    Whaddayathaink?

  2. Bert, Madonna,
    Piguli-an nang tolos. The old fool let out a spittle on Lozada with Lacson as the collateral target. He played along Atienza’s suggetion that Lozada was doble-kara. He did it twice. And both times Lacson blew the saliva back to Joker’s face.

    The first time, Lacson said it was because “Mas masipag siguro yung iba.” The secong time Lacson said, “Baka mas interesado sa katotohan yung iba.” Not the exact words, but it’s almost there.

    Both times, Joker’s face turned red. Buti nga!

  3. JMCastro,
    You do not know the prior details. Did you hear what Bautista said on nationwide radio (maybe TV, too) against Lacson? If not, I can understand where you’re coming from.

  4. what a spectacular show to give the filipino people an idea how their tax pesos work! – bencard

    Yeah, right. Especially when the poor man’s taxes are used to pay for Billion Dollar loans that end up lining the backpockets of kleptomaniac presidents and their spouses, brokers, and cronies.

    • BrianB on February 12, 2008 at 7:14 am

    Anoyone wants to discuss shootings in the U.S. I think it is UNPROCESSED GUILT from Iraq.

    • mang_isko on February 12, 2008 at 7:15 am

    good am. guys!

    • mang_isko on February 12, 2008 at 7:17 am

    tongue, and senators too!

    • BrianB on February 12, 2008 at 7:21 am

    “Whaddayathaink?”

    Tongue, what I think is that there are a bunch of lawyers among the Senators and they missed an opportunity. I think Lozada tried to feed them that opportunity, but no one bit.

    • JMCastro on February 12, 2008 at 7:36 am

    TonGuE-tWisTeD:

    Oh, I agree with you — turnabout is fair play. Only Lozada, I think, was telling the truth to the point that it hurt. Everybody else (the senators included) were engaged in political intramurals.

    My primary concern is that the dramatics yesterday might play into the administration’s favor. It’s clear to me that the politicians on both sides of the aisle are playing out a media war, a battle of perceptions on nationwide radio (maybe TV, too). Looking at how smart the government operators are (one of which was Lozada before this issue broke out), that might actually be a battle the administration is confident of winning.

    • mang_isko on February 12, 2008 at 7:43 am

    o mga guys mayroon ng niluluto na rally sa friday to be headed by satur ocampo, et al.
    red banners na naman ‘yan.
    mind you may mga pari at madre naman yan na sasali.

    • Mita on February 12, 2008 at 7:48 am

    Equalizer,

    Could the reason you came to that conclusion possibly be because of Mar Roxas’ statement that “nagkatugma-tugma ang mga kagustuhan ng 3 tao na wag magpunta si Lozada sa Senado” and other references he and other senators openly made during the hearings yesterday?

    Could it be based on the answers to hypothetical questions thrown at the witnesses by our good senators?

    • Kabayan on February 12, 2008 at 7:49 am

    UP n student,

    Thanks for the link

    • BrianB on February 12, 2008 at 8:31 am

    Forget EDSA, let’s go KATIPUNAN… er, but give me directions as I am not from Cosmo Manille.

    • BrianB on February 12, 2008 at 8:31 am

    I mean KALAYAAN, not katipunan.

    • ay_naku on February 12, 2008 at 9:12 am

    My primary concern is that the dramatics yesterday might play into the administration’s favor. It’s clear to me that the politicians on both sides of the aisle are playing out a media war, a battle of perceptions on nationwide radio (maybe TV, too). Looking at how smart the government operators are, that might actually be a battle the administration is confident of winning. – JMCastro

    Well they certainly looked like bumbling fools amidst the whole Lozada abduction saga.

    I really don’t think they’re that smart. Lagi nga silang nabibisto eh (sa suhulan, dayaan, pangungurakot, etc.) Lagi pang talo sa korte (EO 464, PP 1017, Batasan 5, People’s Initiative, even their failed attempts to suspend Makati mayor Binay, etc.) Lagi pang naki-criticize at napapahiya sa international community (political killings, pagpuna ng World Bank “because of strong signs of collusion and excessive pricing” linked to government procurement, Philippines now the most corrupt country in Asia according to a survey of expatriate businessmen in the region, etc.)

    I think they’re more lucky than smart. Lucky because a large number of Filipinos seem to have lost their moral mooring, not to mention their balls (and for some, even their minds.) And I think “tuso” is the more appropriate adjective rather than smart. Not to mention walanghiya, garapal at makapal ang mukha. I think those last three traits have served them well in their efforts to hold on to power.

    • JMCastro on February 12, 2008 at 9:22 am

    ay_naku:

    “… a large number of Filipinos seem to have lost their moral mooring, not to mention their balls (and for some, even their minds.) …”

    I agree with your sentiments in the sense that all the political participants know how to operate the system.

    But if there is going to be a decent way out of this, I certainly hope there are enough Filipinos who haven’t lost their moral moorings. Otherwise, it’ll be the same circus all over again.

    • Jon Mariano on February 12, 2008 at 9:23 am

    A witness willing to reveal wrongdoings that he himself has committed (willing to incriminate himself) becomes a reliable one (like a state witness). Now if Lozada’s story is really coherent and realistic, then it must be truthful.

    So far Lozada’s story is very consistent.

    • ay_naku on February 12, 2008 at 9:27 am

    Nag-explain na pala si Lozada: Joker’s Arroyo’s wife tried to dissuade him from testifying. Ayaw pang mag-comment ni Joker, natameme pa yata. Shame, shame.

    • mang_isko on February 12, 2008 at 9:33 am

    ay_, ipatawag kaya ng senado yong asawa ni joker.

    heheheheheh

    hirap dito baka ma-mention pa ni j-lo pangalan ko at mapunta pa ko sa senado…baka matalo ko pa sa sa iyakan!

    hahahaha

    • JMCastro on February 12, 2008 at 9:40 am

    Jon Mariano:

    “… Now if Lozada’s story is really coherent and realistic, then it must be truthful. …”

    Not so fast. Since it is coherent, it’s Lozada’s truth. Now, it has to correspond to facts, after which it becomes realistic.

    • cvj on February 12, 2008 at 10:21 am

    I really don’t think they’re that smart. – ay_naku

    i agree. paid hacks aside, i think it’s largely the upper and middle class types who tend to get distracted by the Admin’s tactics. The common folk are more straightforward about these matters which is why they have their instincts for who’s speaking the truth largely intact.

    • vic on February 12, 2008 at 10:29 am

    hawaiianguy,
    the Registry is just one among one the measures, dozens of them reccomended by Madame Justice Belammy. As usual there will be critisism, but most of the measures recommended by Impartial Bodies usually work. Thats is why for a while now, not even a whimper or irregularities are happening in the Government of all levels..

    • tess on February 12, 2008 at 10:38 am

    Si Gen. Razon daw is a good man. He is in the wrong company then, and when in Rome do what the Romans do.

    And Joker went crazy when Lozada mentioned that he also spoke to his wife at sa bahay pa nila. Joker did not deny this ha… fishy…

  5. what was happening in the philippines in the period preceding September 18, 1972 is strikingly similar to what is now transpiring before our very eyes – except that now, the economy is finally showing signs of life.

    i shudder at the thought of another dictatorship becoming the ONLY option to fix our nation. – Bencard

    What’s painfully disturbing about the litany of polity-wrecking scandals that have visited the Arroyo regime where none, by the regime’s own playbook, seems poised to be held accountable is that it has the effect of “normalizing” breaches, however manifest, of the basic definition of a good order.

    Parallel excesses during Marcos rule, it should be recalled, were at least seen for what they were – aberrations as outgrowths of the supposed “abnormal” times. Yet, expectations then that public decency would prevail when normalcy returns were not dashed altogether.

    Today, frightening telltale signs of a dysfunctional or collapsing system are cascading in the ordinary course of the business of governance: plunder of the national coffer are prima facie traceable to the First Family; documented incidences of extra-judicial killings and other forms of political repressions have been reported by reputable international organizations; flight of the middle class, professionals and intellectuals continue to drain the nation’s human capital; election fraud and machinations implicate the very governmental agencies(the Commission on Elections and the military establishment) charged with protecting the sanctity of the electoral process; emasculation of the constitutional checks and balances mechanism is simply taken for granted by those members of Congress entrusted to enforce them; unfettered and autonomous yet primitive pursuit of self-interest by the economic elites sustains uneven economic development and gaping inequality.

    The harsh reality appears inevitable: the longer President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo holds on to power, the sooner she (or even her immediate predecessor, if at all) will preside over a failed Philippine state in which life for the unfortunate majority of the Filipinos, so entrapped, will be “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”

    There’s another “option to fix our nation” than dictatorship or window of opportunity to abort the slide of the country into Hobbesian anarchy: Like Marcos, Arroyo must cut and cut cleanly – now, not later.

    Whereupon, following a voluntary transfer of power, Vice President Noli de Castro must proceed to assume the presidency pursuant to the Constitution. At a minimum, obeisance to the constitutional succession process will restore a modicum of popular confidence in the legal order but therefrom the momentum could be built to experience the long-overdue national catharsis.

    However, to begin at once the healing process and reconciliation, de Castro must be unhampered in the exercise of presidential prerogative of deciding whether to condone Arroyo and others by the executive grant of general amnesty.

    On the other hand, as a matter of reciprocal self-abnegation on the part of de Castro himself, he must commit to the nation not to vie for the office of the president in 2010, the next scheduled presidential election.

    • Jeg on February 12, 2008 at 10:58 am

    This retreat into the arena of legalism just shows that the retreating party has lost the political debate. It is in legalism that their position is strongest and most defensible. “Where’s the evidence? Where’s the proof? Where are those sacred pieces of paper?” A lot of document waving is going on probably counting on their perception that Pinoys respect official-looking documents. Well, Pinoys are learning that documents, especially coming from powerful persons they dont trust, can be faked, manipulated, or coerced into existence and are most likely not even good enough to wipe poop with.

    I also saw the ‘pot calling the kettle black’ defense. But if that were true one would think that a pot would be in the best position call a kettle black since the pot would be familiar with both the milieu and the levels of blackness that can stick to both pot and kettle. That’s why mafia soldati are the best witnesses against their capos.

    • JMCastro on February 12, 2008 at 11:36 am

    I’d like to see a highly respected moral authority who can pass judgment and say that what has been said by Lozada is true.

    So far, the current administration’s PR strategy seems to be “calling all the kettles black”. It has worked before, so it’s not really surprising that they keep on doing it.

    Is there a single shiny kettle who we can rally to?

  6. jeg,
    those who want documentary evidences to uphold the rule-of-law thingy can get them easily. Start with Atty. Bautista, then go to Atienza, Atutubo or Razon.

    Is that the “hard evidence” these airheads want Lozada to produce?

  7. bencard, dictatorship is not the only option in fixing our country. abe mentioned another way. also, as i have predicted, events are coming along nicely for my failed state and revolution theory.

    that one, brain drain would happen so fast that the philippines, literally, would be an intellectual wasteland. two, GMA would cling to power until 2010, morphing congress into parliament somewehere along the way (prolly this year). and of course, three, what can you expect a hungry citizenry would do?

    GMA’s end would prolly be a helicopter crash or a mob lynching reminiscent of mussolini.

  8. Hm. That’s interesting. Lacson met with Lozada SIX times before?

    • BrianB on February 12, 2008 at 11:54 am

    “Is there a single shiny kettle who we can rally to?”

    Castro,

    I’ll be heading to Mega in about an hour, maybe I can pick one up.

    • BrianB on February 12, 2008 at 11:57 am

    JEQ

    “This retreat into the arena of legalism just shows that the retreating party has lost the political debate.”

    It’s not a retreat, they’ve been doing it since Raul Gonzales became Secretary. It’s called, I think, “dilatory.” A lawyer term.

    • Cehz on February 12, 2008 at 11:58 am

    Jegz…

    I totally agree…. Sad to say. It is in the Rules of evidence one finds justice (or injustice) as the case may be. If a person is well connected.. he can have access to documents to support his case. It is the passe now that documents now are more credible than the word of mouth. This may be due to numerous distortions one can do in the art of speaking. TAke a look at our Senators. A lot words are said less the content. They distort the facts in pursuit of Grandstanding. (why else would we call them senators anyhow). That may be the reason why the legal rules observed in court are not followed in a senate hearing. To avoid the stringent Rules of Evidence that can and may be tampered with especially as you said, the more powerful personas can manipulate and coerce documents into existence without neccesarily manifesting the true facts underlying these documents.

    • hawaiianguy on February 12, 2008 at 11:59 am

    JMCastro:

    on “coherence, and its correspondence with reality.”

    I like those tests. Incidentally, it’s something I learned outside of philosophy – in social science. Something of those concepts are also acknowledged in that field, called by other names: (1) reliability, and (2) validity.

    Reliability is pretty close to coherence. It comes with other related terms or morphs: consistency, dependability, agreement, consensus. Validity is when something (a claim or instrument) comes close to hitting the bull’s eye, it is what you want to say is “correct” or have truly measured. It’s “reality” from a particular paradigm.

    Problem is, something can be reliable but not valid, or valid but not reliable. In the face of this dilemma, it’s better to be valid than unreliable. The ideal, of course, is to be both reliable and valid.

    • hawaiianguy on February 12, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    Applying two tests (reliability and validity) to the Senate hearing of Lozada, I see Razon, Atienza, Bautista, Atutubo, Miriam, Enrile (even Joker), and other crews of Arroyo gave a fairly consistent (I say reliable,) stand – they tried to demolish Lozada’s testimony by attacking his person, integrity, and experience, that almost everything he said about the NBN deal was false, a fabrication, a lie.

    From what I see (which many also believe), the reliability of the gang would pale in comparison with one man’s (Lozada’s) credibility. His testimony is more internally consistent, judging from his spontaneous, non-scripted recital of what happened (e.g., Abalos’s $130 million, his “kidnapping” or being prevented from testifying, etc.). Compare this to Razon and others, who were reading their scripts so they would appear coherent.

    Lozada’s claim on Abalos is further bolstered by two other independent testimonies, those of Joey and Neri himself. I would look at this as confirmatory or an act of validation, although it requires further substantiation.

    That brings us now to the second and final test, whether Lozada’s testimony is valid. Did it really happen as he claimed? (e.g., that Abalos is a $130 million “commissioner,” and that Lozada was prevented from testifying, made to sign affidavits or documents under duress, etc.).

    I’d like to give Lozada the benefit of the doubt. He presented something that, if not factual by itself, can be verified to confirm “reality.”

    (Tongue has suggested where to get those things.)

    • tess on February 12, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    Atty. Bautista maybe be disbarred– Newsbreak. The guy is 70 years old, I actually feel sorry for him.

    • Cehz on February 12, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    At least, for once in a bluemoon. the Puppyface has succeded over the minions of the Arroyo Government. Despite calling the kettle black, a mild mannered “puppy-face” (less the facial hairs) has reigned supreme in telling the people what transpired with the ZTE deal. Lozada’s demeanor has proven that the long time observance that oral testimony can still be credible over documents.

    • Cehz on February 12, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    tess,

    his being disbarred would’nt really matter to him since he is 70 years old. He would’nt be able to practice his profession anyway since he is getting out na rin. What will suffer the most is his reputation which only his long time in the practice had established for him. I’d feel sorry for him, but….. what the heck was he doing in the middle of fray anyway? He is an old timer in the practice of law, he of all lawyers should know when to stay away and when to jump in with the sharks.

    • Jeg on February 12, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    JMCastro: I’d like to see a highly respected moral authority who can pass judgment and say that what has been said by Lozada is true.

    You dont need an authority other than what your conscience and perception is telling you. That and the collective moral compass of those around you, people whose perceptions you trust. Forget about the requirements of legalism. They are easily manipulated by those in power. (Does a plunderer ask for a receipt?) All the evidence is in the care the accused parties, such as (if they exist) the records of transfer of funds and the illegally obtained wire-taps of phone conversations, and you can bet that they have already covered their tracks. And whatever Neri is willing to disclose in an executive session with the senators was ruined by an overzealous newspaper who breached its confidentiality, so forget about Neri risking his neck as Lozada is doing.

    Search yourself and whether you find Lozada credible or not should inform your actions on this issue. This is politics. The legalistic requirements are for the courts. This is not where we’re fighting. Yet.

    • Jeg on February 12, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    JMCastro: I’d like to see a highly respected moral authority who can pass judgment and say that what has been said by Lozada is true.

    You dont need an authority other than what your conscience and perception is telling you. That and the collective moral compass of those around you, people whose perceptions you trust. Forget about the requirements of legalism. They are easily manipulated by those in power. (Does a plunderer ask for a receipt?) All the evidence is in the care the accused parties, such as (if they exist) the records of transfer of funds and the illegally obtained wire-taps of fone conversations, and you can bet that they have already covered their tracks. And whatever Neri is willing to disclose in an executive session with the senators was ruined by an overzealous newspaper who breached its confidentiality, so forget about Neri risking his neck as Lozada is doing.

    Search yourself and whether you find Lozada credible or not should inform your actions on this issue. This is politics. The legalistic requirements are for the courts. This is not where we’re fighting. Yet.

    • Mita on February 12, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    The fact that Lozada was reaching to both sides before he appeared so dramatically into the public arena makes things even more muddled. He was corrected by Lacson about their meetings in the past…well, reminded is what is now being said. There’s Madrigal hosting dinner for him, and also Joker Arroyo’s wife inviting him for “cheese and wine” – how very civilized…

    What was going on during all this time I have to ask? Was there an exchange of information? Where there any offers made by either party? Was there an acceptance from the highest bidder? We will never really know, will we? One party will say one thing and the other party will reply in direct opposition….we were not privy to what went down…so we will never KNOW. All we can do is come to a CONCLUSION.

    On the very predictable conclusion that a particular Senate inquiry’s findings can be called TAINTED or PREJUDICED – why are senators meeting and wining and dining witnesses they summon to the Senate? WHY?

    Is this just all a joke they are playing on US, the lowly, miserable minimum wage earners dutifully paying taxes before we even get a hold of our earnings? Are we going to accept this insult, time and time again, from exalted and esteemed members of the Senate?

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