On Lozada: The perils of being a snitch

The way of the warrior says I have no desires; I make seizing the opportunity my desire.

The way of the warrior says I have no principles; I make adaptability my principle.

This is how I follow the way of the warrior: seize the opportunity and the power.

-Tokugawa Ieyasu, first Shogun

From time to time, partly to document my trying to understand Eastern attitudes towards governance in contrast to my own heavily-Western orientation, I like to quote extracts from the Analects of Confucius, most recently in entry The Mandate of Heaven. Recently I read this article on Tokugawa Neo-Confucianism and then this one on Intellectual currents in Tokugawa Japan. This is of more than antiquarian interest because Bushido was seriously examined by Filipinos prior to World War II (during and after which, of course, Bushido became tainted by its being used to justify Japanese atrocities) in the effort to instill a stronger sense of citizenship (in terms of both freedoms and responsibilities) in a country preparing for independence.

Bushido was held up by by various Filipino leaders before and during the war as something to emulate. You still find echoes of this in proposals by people like Jose Abueva to have a Bill of Rights and Obligations (which hews to the provisions of the 1943 Constitution of the Puppet Republic) instead of a Bill of Rights.

It’s a stretch to suggest that Japanese Neo-Confucianism or Confucianism itself is precisely the kind of thinking expressed by Romulo Neri, Jr. and his one-time acolyte and factotum, Jun Lozada.There are elements of these philosophies, however, in their public and private (then publicly-reported) view concerning governance and reforms.

But it brings me to this weekend’s entry. From my computer’s handy-dandy built-in dictionary:

snitch |sni ch | informal

verb

1 [ trans. ] steal.

2 [ intrans. ] inform on someone : she wouldn’t tell who snitched on me.

noun

an informer.

ORIGIN late 17th cent.: of unknown origin.

Jun Lozada, as I write this, is in Dagupan. The prelude to his visit was this: Lozada streamers torn down before his Pangasinan trip.

There’s scuttlebutt going around that the Palace has imposed a deadline for neutralizing Jun Lozada: the deadline is June, by which time students go back to school. The studentry, of course, prior to Lozada’s emerging as whistleblower, was safely thought of to be unengaged in the current political crisis.

Which leads to the question: Is Jun Lozada self-destructing, or is he being destroyed? if Jun Lozada is self-destructing, either he is not self-destructing quickly enough, or he isn’t really self-destructing at all -he’s just being worn down by the immense resources of the state.

In previous Masses held for him, it seems that the Palace has taken to distributing anti-Lozada Komiks; there is even talk that people are being organized to fill up the churches and then walk out on cue, both to disrupt the proceedings when Lozada begins his talk, and to promote the idea to the media that he is losing support.

Jun Lozada is at it again: writing, that is.

Read the latest products of Lozada’s pen for yourself.

He’s written two pieces, one primarily addressed to members of the clergy, the other, to the public-at-large.

In Telling the Truth.doc ver1.1[1].pdf , he goes into “The Diamond Principle,” in detail, but then again, this is something he has been talking about for some time.

In My reflections on my 2nd month of Calvary[1].pdf , he addresses the public, reiterating the circumstances surrounding his abduction and how nothing has really happened since then, except that the administration factotums originally in hot water have had time to sort out their stories.

Both pieces are surely a response to Lozada recently getting into hot water with some clerics and to media. And surely, a way for him to fight back.

First impressions count. But there are continuing impressions, too, and they add up. Jun Lozada makes some people teary-eyed and other people want to scream, still others want to vomit. It goes every which way: some public figure is sure to get someone foaming at the mouth, somewhere

.The Warrior Lawyer is upfront about his antipathy (based on personal interaction with Lozada) and makes more sense overall:

I never hid my dislike for Jun Lozada, based on his character and what I know of him as an operator when he was still with the DENR. This was a guy who’d arrogantly call for supposedly official meetings outside his office, in bars and restaurants, dine and drink his fill while behaving like a lout, then stick you with the bill. He has no sense of personal loyalty and has been politely described as a “man on the make” (and on the take, as he has admitted). As a whistle-blower, and civil-society “hero”, his whining self-righteousness is extremely irritating. He so obviously enjoys the limelight and his public statements during his recent “road tour” are characteristically pompous and overblown.

But I tried to separate the message from the messenger and gave him credit for speaking up, however reluctantly, on the ZTE broadband corruption scandal.

Now events have conspired to push him on a long slide to irrelevancy. First, the Supreme Court decision in Neri vs. Senate Committee has effectively stymied the Senate proceedings, his most effective platform. Worse, it has deprived the Senate of access to vital witnesses who would corroborate the allegations of Lozada and company, most notably Romulo Neri, as well as other Cabinet members and functionaries. Without a stage and most of the major players, this show can’t go on.

Then Cory Aquino, arguably the most popular opposition draw, and Lozada’s supposed patron and mentor on the path to rectitude, was stricken ill with cancer. No more Tita Cory to cuddle Jun and bring in the crowds.

Finally, there’s Lozada’s own big mouth. He could use some of the advise on self-examination and reflection he so blithely foists on others. His wiseass and bombastic manner has turned off a lot of people, even from among his initially steadfast supporters.

Similar views are in Jingoistic Lamentations.

In my column, The aesthetics of redemption, I stated my personal views about Lozada; in particular, that we should consider the effect of nearly being liquidated can have on someone: at the very least, it explains why someone already temperamentally inclined to be full of himself (as most fixers tend to be), would then become a zealot. Near-death experiences do that to people. So there is no objective reason why Lozada should be writing manifestos that may do him as much harm as good, but what he’s gone through certainly goes a long way to explain his compulsion to crank out manifestos.

While Clarissa Ocampo did state at the time that she feared for her life, she didn’t undergo an abduction and was given witness protection; allegations have been made that she received board appointment from the President but I can’t find any record of this (nor is any government largesse reported in Witnesses reap ‘rewards’ for role in Erap trial).

I also tried to point out that much of the skepticism that greets Lozada has to do with nothing more than questions of taste: in particular, he rubs upper class sensibilities raw and tends to irritate a subset of the middle class. It is the reason some Filipinos believe no funeral is complete without hysterics while others believe good taste demands that one should maintain a stiff upper lip in the face of adversity.

So it’s all a question of taste: the aesthetic element of politics. Just as I’ve argued that there are many who support the President because she upholds the primacy of outward appearances being more important than virtue itself, there are those who, finding Lozada to be grating on their nerves, will then lash out at him.

Typical of the visceral loathing some people who are purely observers (not having encountered him during his fixer days) have for Lozada, is the incoherent, but scathing, contempt of an Antonio Montalvan II for Jun Lozada. I had to ask someone what on earth Montalvan was trying to say: “he’s suggesting a stop to all the school hopping etc. what i like is that he’s implying (well, it’s explicit to me at least) that lozada’s still a crook by definition and must be charged – not really the figure to lead a ‘truth’ crusade of sorts.”

Fair enough.In janEe’s bLog, there’s email from someone present at the controversial Cebu forum Lozada attended, and who wrote,

The Senate investigation only confines itself to factual matters. As a political body, its primordial concern is to fulfill its constitutional mandate of conducting inquiry in aid of legislation. It does not delve into what is in the heart of a witness testifying before it. It cannot be concern about matters of the spirit; personal discernment and insights; and personal conversion and renewal.

These, I believe, is the higher pursuit of Jun Lozada’s journey, both in the physical and spiritual sense.

Despite his being not welcome here in Cebu, he braved the spurn knowing that the TRUTH will shield him against any forms off rebuke and rejections.

Jun was simply not rejected, he was harassed and slurred.

I, and many others, who attended the forum yesterday, had witnessed how Jun Lozada was humiliated & insulted by a man named Po, who claimed to be there in order to be “enlightened” on the issue.

See also, the open letter written by a priest in Cebu, Fr. Jesus Dumaual, as republished in Happy Faith:

You ask why? It is because you have answered (partly) a question they must have been asking all these years: Where have all our graduates gone, the product of Catholic Education, the minds and consciences that we have molded according to the values of the Gospels? Thousands, perhaps even a million of you have joined government service. What have become of you? Have you all become “team players”, swallowed by the system which is now considered the most corrupt in Asia? You are luckier, and I saw your great elation that late in the day, two priests were found (I was one of them) who were willing to say Mass for you. But the poor Sisters, so far, after all these years, have only found one: you. (You see, while we priests may have our Parishes, Sisters have only their Catholic Schools.) Of course, they want to hear your story, to know whatever happened to all the nurturing, the sacrifices they have made for all of you, including the scolding if you just forget to say your prayer, etc. But that can wait. All they want to show you is how grateful and appreciative they are you have returned. The rest will be history.

Which, combined with the letter from the lady in Cebu, gives a pretty good justification as to why Lozada should be making the rounds: to submit himself to the scrutiny of his countrymen.The best advice was given matter-of-factly by JC’s Anatomy. Answer the criticisms. Going back to his recent visit to Cebu, you can’t get fiercer than Fighting Tofu who expressed loathing for Lozada. I myself delved into the whole controversy in The interdiction of a witness, but much of it seemed to me a case of conservative shock on the part of those unused to questioning prelates, and more attuned to the old obediences. A marvelous demonstration of this is that the expression of disgust with Lozada currently making the rounds was a captive protest: watch “Gloria” (Dancing Inmates – Protest Dance). Ordering prison inmates to engage in an obviously far-from-spontaneous dance number… well, the irony is as rich as it gets.

Still: for every person still firmly convinced of his good intentions, like on to a new beginning who ran into him during a graduation ceremony in La Salle Greenhills; nut there are those, like the priest Per Agrum ad Sacrum, hostile to him:

But what then explains the anger? What explains all the zeal and passion and the fury? I would assume they want something else, on account of the fact that they have found common cause with interesting individuals who really have little interest, and thus, can boast of little love lost for the finer nuances of moral theological thinking ( no matter how much they quote and endlessly misquote the Lord’s words, “the truth will set you free.”). I assume they want more than just the moral truth they ought already to know. I assume they want heads to roll. What else explains the “non sequitur” slogans and name-calling directed against the devil woman and her cohorts?

I would also assume that it is not really so much moral truth they want, as “teachings” that would ride along with what they want. How else explain their vociferous rantings against the bishops, who they claim “are not in touch with reality,” or who “are playing deaf, dumb, and blind” to all the shenanigans being perpetrated by this administration? After the Bishops talked about the moral truth of a “culture of corruption” that is found in all levels of society, after the Bishops took to task the President and called for the dismantling of all obstacles to truth, these self-proclaimed “guardians of morality” now declare the Bishops as hopelessly blind, deaf, and dumb, for their taste? How about venting your ire against some media outfits who have already decided what is true for them? Didn’t the Bishops also call the mass media to task? Didn’t the Bishops also call the so-called oppositionist politicians to set aside their ill concealed ambitions and personal agenda? Weren’t we all cautioned against subverting this and many other issues to our own sinister agenda?

There is something seriously amiss in this highly engaging telenovela. Abetted and supported by the so-called “media moment,” a whistle blower who was part of the system of corruption just a few months ago, has suddenly been catapulted to near-divine status, called a “hero” for modesty’s sake (thank you!). Mobbed and adulated everywhere by the supposed guardians of truth and objectivity, the very people on whom millions of young people depend on for their education, the self-proclaimed “crusader for truth” now inflames the passions of the young, idealistic, and easily manipulable students, who are being doled out daily lessons on how to be a “responsible, “law-abiding,” and “democratic” citizen without really trying hard to respect rule of law. In a clear example of collusion pushed to the extreme, with no parallels in recent history, the guardians and teachers of moral truth, legislators, educators, mass media purveyors, and executives in and out of government, have suddenly decided to become accuser, judge, and executioner all rolled into one.

And there are concerned parents like Couch Potato Corner, who says Lozada is a menace and should be evicted by the school.

Lozada compared his own abduction to the abduction and murder of Dacer, and there’s a reason the comparison resonated with the public.

By all accounts, Dacer was an asshole; by comparison, in comparing himself to Dacer, Lozada was admitting he was an asshole, too; but no one has ever said Dacer deserved to be rubbed out.

Dacer knew something, and had to die. Lozada knew something, and had to die.

But Lozada lived to tell his tale.

And so, he has to be destroyed.

Because the longer he sticks around and remains a pest, the more time people have to let the lesson of the last few years finally sink in. She’s as bad, and even worse, than the previous guy who got kicked out.

233 comments

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    • Diego on April 5, 2008 at 1:38 am

    That alone should give you pause from your sycophantic essays or one-liners. – crisanto

    This is Manolo’s blog, my friend. We are all guest commentators here. If mlq3 oks our posts, why should we give pause?

    We all have opinions.

    • crisanto on April 5, 2008 at 1:43 am

    Equalizer,

    The government does not share your optimism. It continues to rain on Jun’s parade. I will tell you one thing. I work in the higher echelons of government and I have seen these people conspire to bring Jun down. I am not as brave as Jun from coming out but let me tell you that the government does not treat the Jun Lozada episode as finished. It hopes to end Jun at a certain point. Hastening the demise of this episode is the principal action plan right now against Jun Lozada.

    What you guys dont realize is that you may think people are tired and sick of hearing Jun Lozada. That might be valid here in Metro Manila but in the provinces, the people are hungry to hear what he has to say and that is the reason the black propaganda campaign of which I am personally aware of is in full swing.

    Trust me, I was there when Mike Defensor was instructed to tell Jun to cooperate. Otherwise, media will be unleashed to destroy his credibility. It has been 3 months now, his shelf life should have been over a month ago but he continues to hold sway. And thats why our president is gravely concerned that this episode should be terminated now.

    • crisanto on April 5, 2008 at 1:46 am

    Nash,

    Dont think Jun Lozada is out of the ring yet. The government is aware of what he knows and the extent of his knowledge in government corruption. It hates Romy Neri for bringing Jun to the meetings but they have to pander to Neri so he will not testify against the president.

    • crisanto on April 5, 2008 at 1:48 am

    Diego,

    You are taking me too literally. I suggest a deeper research on the meaning of giving one pause.

    • Diego on April 5, 2008 at 1:56 am

    I hear you.

    You may be an insider high up, but don’t just come in and expect people to believe what you say hook, line, and sinker.

    Prep us with some context please…

    As Mastercard would have it: ‘knowledge is power, but wisdom is priceless.”

    • UP n student on April 5, 2008 at 2:01 am

    Crisanto: Surely you are not asking for conclusion of lies, are you?

    • Bencard on April 5, 2008 at 2:45 am

    crisanto, please read again my post. i didn’t say he said anything untrue. all i said was that he testified to things that were mostly already known (except his alleged “kidnapping” – who rescued him anyway?). he also testified on what he heard from others – things he admittedly had no personal knowledge. what i was saying is that he has no real value as a witness. he might be a passing tool for anti-gma propaganda but that’s about it. only people desperate for mud to sling out would have any use for him.

    • Bencard on April 5, 2008 at 2:57 am

    btw, crisanto. what “credibility” is there for the administration to destroy, and for what purpose? lozada does’nt have the goods and he admitted it. why is there a need to discredit or eliminate him? i think the way the game is usually played over there is to rub out the “friendly” but expendable witness by his promoters and then blame the crime to the party against whom the witness was procured to testify. sometimes the trick works, i understand.

    • hawaiianguy on April 5, 2008 at 3:24 am

    The way Lozada is receiving a heavy dose of counter-propaganda, intimidation and threats only suggests that the govt fears him, and is afraid of the eventual consequences of his politicizing the masses. I won’t be surprised if one of these days he finally “disappears” for good, like Dacer and most of those guys who know too much. Then blame it on the NPA or leftists or terrorists. Big Mike is using his attorney polpol as part of the demolition squad, while this old fart Gonzales is using whatever govt resources he can marshall to pin down Lozada, instead of tracking the bigtime bribers and grafters. See, this is what power and money can buy. Tsk tsk tsk!

    • hawaiianguy on April 5, 2008 at 3:33 am

    crisanto:

    “The government does not share your optimism. It continues to rain on Jun’s parade. I will tell you one thing. I work in the higher echelons of government and I have seen these people conspire to bring Jun down. I am not as brave as Jun from coming out but let me tell you that the government does not treat the Jun Lozada episode as finished.”

    The recent interfaith rally/prayer of Lozada in Pangasinan tells all about this experience: missing pro-Lozada streamers, bomb threat, anti-Lozada flyers demolishing his credibility. These counter-propaganda efforts must have cost much more money and time than the Lozada campaign.

    • crisanto on April 5, 2008 at 3:33 am

    bencard,

    I wish what you speak of is true but the sad thing is the government finds jun’s testimony credible. He may not link directly the president to the scam but Neri has told him what Neri knew and even if assuming they are hearsay but for others, what they call part of his testimony, Neri himself has never negated Jun Lozada. That is what really irks the administration. I wish it was as true as to how you described the game. Unfortunately, Jun’s testimony is very credible to the government.

    And I would hasten to add that Fr. Intengan was the one who prepared the ZTE Primer that was presented by Cerge Remonde to Cardinal Vidal and his priests in Cebu. I have seen the primer prepared by Fr. Archie Intengan and they are meant to destroy the credibility of Jun Lozada. For the uninformed, Fr. Intengan is the priest adviser of the president by way of Norberto Gonzales.

    There is clearly the attempt, Bencard, of the administration to destroy Lozada. And regardless of whether you believe Jun to be not credible, the government does not think so. It will not stop until the Jun Lozada episode is dead and buried. In an oblique way, our comments here, even if unfavorable to Jun, continues to put him in the limelight. This is the irony and vicious cycle of putting him to rest

    • crisanto on April 5, 2008 at 3:41 am

    Diego,

    I am not as brave as Jun Lozada. If I provide context, my identity will be revealed. Suffice it to say that I do not expect you to believe me at all, I only post here what I have seen and heard.

    • Bert on April 5, 2008 at 3:43 am

    “Jun Lozada has caught the star complex. If Lozada would like to save the nation,then he should do a Ninoy Aquino.”

    You mean Lozada should provoke some more so gloria do a marcos on lozada, then the wife of lozada do a Cory?

    that’s what i call history repeating itself twice over!

    • crisanto on April 5, 2008 at 3:45 am

    hawaiian guy,

    all those attempts that you described are part of the master plan to destroy Jun. The mistress was dug up and even before the second hearing of Jun’s testimony, the NBI was tasked to locate the mistress. They did in fact find the mistress and it was leaked to the press.

    The government will use all its vast resources to destroy Jun Lozada. It cannot afford the masses to unite behind someone that can rally the different social classes.

    • Bencard on April 5, 2008 at 3:54 am

    crisanto, i really thought the lozada affair is passe’ in this blog until manolo revived it with this thread. it kind of reminds me of abs-cbn’s not-too-subtle ruse of playing and re-playing (ad nauseam) the korina-carandang “special” called “harapan” featuring the undershirt-clad, snickering, head-shaking wisp of a man during holy week. no wonder most pinoy ofw’s are anti-gma. this network’s tfc is a virtual propaganda machine for gma’s enemies, yet they could ply their trade without a bit of protest from the administration. i won’t be surprised if this unfair reporting practices would eventually be curbed somehow.

    • crisanto on April 5, 2008 at 3:55 am

    Jon Mariano,

    Your premise is wrong. Jun Lozada is telling the truth and the government is hell bent on destroying his credibility. If Jun was not telling the truth, his lies can easily be debunked by the truth and he would be tripping all over himself. So far, the government has found nothing in his testimony to destroy his credibility. thats why they are using ancillary evidences to destroy him.

    To show you the extent of their desperation, they will ask one administration senator to play the wiretapped conversation just to cast Jun and Joey in a bad light if another senate hearing is called. The senator knows that playing the conversation is illegal but the tapes have been sufficiently spliced to show how scheming Jun and Joey are.

    • crisanto on April 5, 2008 at 4:01 am

    Bencard,

    Ever since Gabby Lopez designated Maria Ressa as head of News, ABS has become professional as Maria wanted it to have the same professional standards as CNN.

    Whether we like it or not, the government can no longer do the usual thing of calling the owner of the TV station, threaten him a bit for him to back off. Gabby Lopez can only suggest but the decision lies with the triumvirate, Maria Ressa, Chari Villa and Luchi Cruz Valdez.

    The government still has some sway over GMA 7 owing to the fact that one of its owners is Gilberto Duavit of Rizal. But as to how long, I dont know.

    Manolo’s raising up the issue of Jun is understandable. He is part of civil society. It would be interesting for you to know that Manolo used to be the president’s speechwriter until he decided to resign when the president reneged on her December 30 promise not to run again.

  1. Cat,

    I went through your predictions and I find them all conclusions of facts, baseless and rather vacuous.

    I don’t care about your opinion. at the end of the day, my prediction stands.

    and it is coming true for lozada.

    • nash on April 5, 2008 at 5:41 am

    @crisanto

    “..dont think Jun Lozada is out of the ring yet. The government is aware of what he knows and the extent of his knowledge in government corruption..”

    I hope so.

    • tonio on April 5, 2008 at 7:08 am

    BrianB:

    they’re loving this over there in Oz too, aren’t they?

    • BrianB on April 5, 2008 at 7:10 am

    More here, Tonio:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=eBGIQ7ZuuiU

    • mlq3 on April 5, 2008 at 10:18 am
      Author

    crisanto, just a minor correction.

    i was part of the president’s speech writing pool even prior to her becoming president, then early on during her presidency she asked me to work directly for her developing policy for the presidential museum and then as p.a.; her decision not to run made it clear whatever policies were being developed would have to be in place by her retirement in 2004.

    when it became clear she would run for office i faced the dilemma of continuing to work directly under her (and yes, deeply disappointed she decided to run), when most of what i’d set out to do under the mandate she gave me was about to be finished or wouldn’t require my direct supervision, or leaving her service. my dilemma was solved when the inquirer pirated me from today, on condition that i relinquish my job in the o.p. this was a face-saving solution all around. i did support the president when she ran, informally continuing to be in the loop at a certain level, and i even proposed her inaugural in cebu (but for a different reason than later proposed by her senior political allies: i felt it was a timely move to show she was serious about federalism; i disagreed with those who endorsed the idea to “thank” the cebuanos).

    i did speak out over the conduct of the canvassing of votes in congress, pointing out this was not going to help matters. everything seemed to be going ok, though, until hello, garci. the handling of that crisis, as i explained at length, left me no choice but to join the critics of the president.

    • crisanto on April 5, 2008 at 10:55 am

    Cat,

    I hope so.

    • hvrds on April 5, 2008 at 11:28 am

    In the market for hearts and minds unfortunately the means of communication is determined more by economic realities than anything else.

    Access to the means of trasnmitting and diseminating information is limited to those in charge of the means.

    Guttenberg’s invention and Martin Luthers translation of the bible into German helped push the protestant reformation in parts of Europe.

    Unfortunately for Lozada and his handlers they forget that in this marekt for hearts and minds the state has deep pockets.

    Present Hillary and Bill Clinton who I personally believe is running for a co-presidency and since they have made millions though Bill’s charisma have hired PR company Burson Marsteller and their cheif strategist is Mark Penn the CEO of the same.

    The Lozada handlers and himself should realize that the odds are stacked against them and learn how to use guerilla tactics in this market. They have to learn how to use the market for hearts and minds. Blogging and the internet are limited in a poor and developing country. Leah navarro is a hot babe who has already graduated to babehood and while she looks good on TV she has almost nothing to communicate. She talks for herself and does not realize that the time given to her is valuable to communicate.

    Case in point: All private media outlets in the country are solely dependent on private and public advertising.

    Sonny Belmonte and his family know that their paper will not survive without playing ball with the trananstionals and the domestic powwerhouses – namely Lucio Tan, PLDT, Globe and Danding (SMC) and the government itself.

    The main players in this game or the intemediaries or traders if you like are the advertising and/or PR companies.

    They exert tremendous influence on commentators and columnists. Even ANC is constrained by this. The only independent minded person I listen to on ANC is Che Che Lazaro. With all due respect to MLQ3 I know you can afford to be your own person. However you will get there soon enough. You are a grat writer and maybe someday you will be good in broadcasting. All newspapers are also constrained by this. The front page of every paper is bought and sold on a daily basis.

    Example is the recent interview of Ricky Carandang with Pangilinan. Manny Pangilinan is an investment banker who is handling the private equity group (First Pacific) belonging to the family of Liem Sioe Leong, former primary crony of the late Dictator Suharto.

    It was due to his being a pinoy and understanding the ways of doing business in the Philippines that helped Salim get control and possession of PLDT. Off course the advances in cellullar technology did the rest with tax free susbsidies from the unsuspecting pinoy public. I believe in open communications there really should be open markets and the oligopolies of PLDT and Globe should be broken up. Never mind if they go bust because technologies have bypassed land lines and gateways.

    The same with air travel. Since we do not build planes why restrict airlines. Remove this idea of a national carrier. However in our own country let government become a partner with any pinoy owned airline. The capitalization requirement requires state support as it is but the foreign competition should keep it sharp. Think Cathay Pacific. Practically owned by the state run by mangement professionals and faces competition and is one of the best. The same with Singapore Airlines.

    But that is all in the name of trade and financial liberalization that everyone is talking about. One of the first thing Pangilinan did as a banker is simply break down the divison of labor of the company and outsource most if not all the operations of the company. That way you do not have to pay the full benefits to employees and contractuals never make it to regular status. You increase profits for your stockholders. Nothing wrong there.

    Then you question him if he wants to know the truth about what the President is doing ?

    A lot of people still confuse business with economics and think that business can do it better and government should be abolished.

    Just look at the rice markets today. Financial capitalism is having its way in the real economies of the world and is creating havoc with equlibrium as the debased dollar is forcing funds into the commodity markets as equity and bond marekts slide downward. Check out Jim Rogers commodity fund index. The infomration one can learn from these is invaluable.

    Thye have info on acres planted with wwheat, soy, corn and rice tables going back years and expected harvests.
    The largest markets in financial capitalism are the currency markets followed by the commodity markets.
    Shorting the epso was an easy bet since supply side inflation was coming down the pipeline to a country that has a very tiny edge in BOP surplus. OIL, fuel bills and now food bills (all imports) are rising will eat up into dollar reserves and the peso will weaken.
    Governments are reeling and even players in the real economy are wondering what the hell is going on?

    Everytime time you see or hear about people lining up to buy rice you increase expectations of shortages. That is what most real Central Bankers fear the most.

    Inflationary expectations. Once ingrained they become self fullfiling. Speculators love it. Buy buy buy when you see blood on the street. Methaporically you see fear of rising prices.

    Bear Stearns had a credit rating of above investment grade. Their CEO was on TV boasting about a book value of $80B. By Thursday their short term credit lines were cut. By Friday they could not meet payments.

    By Monday their share was worth $ 2. and they were no more. What happened? Simple – fear took hold.

    Markets are run and the most effective means of economic activities because they process information. In the case of the rice situtation in the Philippines, it is the traders who possess the information. The government through the DA, NFA, NSO, NEDA do not know what the real story is on the ground. So they come up with fancy PR gimmicks.

    Naturally the traders bless their greedy hearts knwoing the score take advantage of the edge in information (arbitrage)to make a killing. But that is what happens in the financial markets. If you make an assumpotion that prices will rise you take positions as fast as you can to corner the market to make a killing.

    That is what asset inflation, commodity price inflation is all about. That is also called bubble bubble bubble.

    The financial markets are the thermometer of the real economy.

    Look at Rey “the magican” Tetangco. With a capital or equity strucre of Php 10 billion he has leveraged postion of assets worth $37 billion in official reserves. The largest currency trader in the coutry is the BSP. It operates like a hedge fund to stabilize exchange rates to target inflation.

    But he is totally unaware about the real economy of the country. When our dependence on imports is affected by higher prices abroad he maintains it is beyond his control as headline inflation is supply side based.

    The men who have the information rule markets.

    Governments frequently have to catch up.

    Even Greenspan, Bernanke and Paulson now realize it today.

    The Philippines still cannot count votes in an election so how can you expect the government to catch up.

    • magdiwang on April 5, 2008 at 11:39 am

    Your premise is wrong. Jun Lozada is telling the truth and the government is hell bent on destroying his credibility. If Jun was not telling the truth, his lies can easily be debunked by the truth and he would be tripping all over himself. So far, the government has found nothing in his testimony to destroy his credibility. thats why they are using ancillary evidences to destroy him.

    Jun Lozada is telling the truth?? What truth?? He has not presented any iota of evidence to back up his testimony. Do you think we will just believe a person like him, who himself has no credibility? Stop dreaming…People are not that stupid to believe what this person is spewing. I see him as a tainted weasel who is there to grab attention for his own self serving needs. He is such a loser and wont be suprised if his claim to fame fades to an abrupt end..he will turn around and change his story.

    • Madonna on April 5, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Tama si hvrds, we need guerrila tactics to fight GMA’s regime.

    The vast apparatus of the legal framework of the society has been coopted. In terms of power and resources, the lucky bee and her posse is also llmado.

    Time to be jedis fighting the evil empire. Our best weapons? Our hearts and our minds of course. Morally and intellectually, this regime is way too bankrupt. Ampaw ba.

    Why do people insist that Lozada is a hero? And then equally hate him because he is “tainted”? He is not a hero and he is not a saint nor does he claim to be either.

    But is he telling the truth and fighting the good fight?

    Yes and yes.

    We need to ask ourselves the same thing. And ask others too.

    • Jon Mariano on April 5, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    I need to include the swine scam in the list … for posterity sake.

    I will be waiting for each item’s conclusion.

    • hvrds on April 5, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    Politically is there a political party opposed to Big Mike and GMA? None. There are political personalities who are opposed to her.

    What is their philosophy?

    What is good for Erap is good for the Philippines.
    The same with Villar, Roxas, Lacson, Gordon, Legarda and the rest. Are they any different from Big Mike and GMA Nope?

    What are their thoughts on governance and the role it plays in economics. Are they for strong fiscal policies or weak fiscal policies. Strong fiscal policies mean moving towards almost command economies.

    Command economies being the fiscal policy wherein the state takes all the surplus. That to states that take only a small portion of the surplus. Take your pick from hard state to soft state to no state and everything in between.

    What do they think of the fact that in the U.S. banks are supposed to report to fiscal authorites unusual movements in monies to coporations in cash that led to the resignation of a powerful governor involved in prostitution. Imagine all the crooks that would fall if cash payments over a certain amount were all reported to the fiscal authorities in the Philippines?

    That is the heart of the social contract. Transparency in markets.

    When you see the faces and demanor of the men who picked up Lozada from th airport you can already tell that these men are simply mercenaries.

    They do not care about rationales they are simply following orders.

    I am sure those soldiers when they were told to pick up Ninoy did not know thet he was to be killed under their watch. The real triggerman could have killed Ninoy and Galman while everyone ducked for cover.

    No one will every know. That man if he exists is surely dead.
    Being an entitlement society that believes that leaders are chosen and directed by God is a throwback to an uncivilized tribal society that worshipped the sun.

    Lozada is the epitome of the entitlement society and culture that prevails in Philippine society.

    Look at the leaders of this country who are all mostly receipients of entitlements from their private school schooling all the way to their positions in business and government.

    He could help by pointing that out. I cannot help but smile when a foreign clent said that he was surprised that a realty company was offering second homes or vacation homes together with a tenant family to tend your farms attached with the second home.

    Selling the Phillipines to foreigners should include the line – Enjoy the Colonial lifestyle. Come live in the Philippines.

    The Philippines is a democracy ruled by the top with their brand of merry go round and is not a democracy that is broad based.

    The rationale of a democracy based on individual rights and privileges but with responsibility and accountability is the result of human struggles and came to the fore only in the 19th and 20th centuries in some parts of the world. It took more than half a millenium from the Bills of Rights in Runnymede to the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights.

    Even the U.S. today is struggling to maintain those principles from diminishing.

    • Mike on April 5, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    Jun Lozada is telling the truth?? What truth?? He has not presented any iota of evidence to back up his testimony. – magdiwang

    He may not have submitted documentary evidence to back up his testimony (if such documentary evidence exists), but it is quite possible he is telling the truth about the overpricing of the NBN project as well as its conversion from BOT to China loan-financed. And each person has to decide for him- or herself whether he is credible or not. He may not be a Clarissa Ocampo in manner, but to me he is credible.

    • KG on April 5, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    Equalizer,

    yes way is the opposite of no way.

  2. Selling the Phillipines to foreigners should include the line – Enjoy the Colonial lifestyle. Come live in the Philippines. – hvrds

    I wrote an aticle back in 2002 on how to promote the Manila life to foreigners by highlighting REAL “strengths” of da Pinoy lifestyle.

    “The Expat’s Guide to Surviving a Manila Tour of Duty”

    Check it out
    http://www.geocities.com/benign0/3-00_Makati/expattips.html

    – 😀

    • magdiwang on April 5, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    He may not have submitted documentary evidence to back up his testimony (if such documentary evidence exists), but it is quite possible he is telling the truth about the overpricing of the NBN project as well as its conversion from BOT to China loan-financed. And each person has to decide for him- or herself whether he is credible or not. He may not be a Clarissa Ocampo in manner, but to me he is credible.

    How can you believe someone who is a self confessed sinner with no integrity? and no proof? I dont understand that. What will we become as a society if we start to accept that as truth?

    • Mike on April 5, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Magdiwang, of course, a sinner can tell the truth. Chavit was a sinner, but his story was credible and we believed him despite him not submitting any documentary proof.

    • magdiwang on April 5, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    Mike, I was not moved by Chavits allegations. I dont think he has the credibility just like Lozada. They are one and the same, opportunistic free loaders who will side to anybody as they see fit to save their own hides.

    • Maginoo on April 5, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    The present crop of presidential wannabees either themselves benefitted from clientelism and/or are also capable of grand corruption.

    Could we even hope that a meritocracy emerge from a system captured by a few.

    Does somebody like father among have a chance?

    • justice league on April 5, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    Hvrds,

    I just want to point out that the kind of bank reporting that you want seems to be covered under the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

    After it was amended; a transaction in cash or other equivalent monetary instrument involving a total amount in excess of Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00) within one (1) banking day is already covered. (previously it was a single, series, or combination of transactions involving a total amount in excess of Four million Philippine pesos (Php4,000,000.00) or an equivalent amount in foreign currency based on the prevailing exchange rate within five (5) consecutive banking days)

    • Mike on April 5, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    Well, many people considered Chavit credible because he was in Erap’s circle and would be privy to what was going on.

    Normally, the word of Jun Lozada would only be a starting point for investigation. But now, if you get too close to hard evidence, your way is quickly barred by “executive privilege” and the refusal of NEDA to release official documents, or the outright “loss” of such documents. What bullsh*t.

    • nash on April 5, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    Can someone remind me if Chavit was given immunity for being a witness?

    I wonder how that crook is still walking around scot-free.

    • Dirk Pitt on April 5, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    lozada is a classic example of a contrived “villain” of the fanatic “love-gloria” crowd clutching on the wind. it seems that any whistleblower who says anything that can really put the integrity of the president into question, whether in the senate or in the media, is villified as Evil’s gift to the opposition.

    lozada has “exposed” something that the public did not yet know and which was “incidental” to the opposition’s cause. his testimony, for the most part, was that there was a conspiracy to kidnap him, after reading to him his right, that is ” You have the right to remain silent(FOREVER).

    i don’t know lozada from adam but some blogger’s personal impressions about the guy confirm my own assessments. i see a cabal member who has been presented with an opportunity for a chance to redeem himself but naively thought it would be a walk in the park. he grabbed it with all the gusto he could muster, basking in the light of sitting beside the former president cory aquino in church, while surrounded by la salle nuns and priests and assorted political figures, as mass is being said in his “honor” dubbed “mass for truth”.

    the big question is: why is the administration hell bent in destroying lozada’s credibility? also it’s possible that there are individuals who are turned off and annoyed by the guy’s honesty and his friends’ attempts to help him back to the fold of the society?

    it looks like lozada’s 15-minute of glory is up. his forum of necessity, the church, has succumbed to the lure of PAGCOR donations. now he can be an insignificant footnote of history on discussions about how a nation shoots itself on the foot, and suffer self-inflicted injuries,if we, the people will let it happen.

    • istambay_sakalye on April 5, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    How can you believe someone who is a self confessed sinner with no integrity? and no proof? I dont understand that. What will we become as a society if we start to accept that as truth?—

    how? we should try to answer these questions then. why is malacanang stone walling? why has neri never directly refuted any of lozada’s allegations? why did neri claim executive privilege? how many times since then lozada has changed his allegations? how many times has malacanang and its minions changed their own versions?

    inconsistencies can help one tell apart a liar from a person who is telling the truth. simple lang yan unless nagbubulag-ulagan at bingi-ingihan lang talaga!

    proof? ninakaw daw ang contract after signing! eh kung maninikawala na naman ba? siguro tinago! gma smiling for cameras during the signing of contracts despite prior knowledge of the anomalies and despite husband’s grave health condition. and as per neri neda can only recommend and it’s the president who has the final say on the approval.

    ang mali lang talaga sa senado eh puro gusto magbida. still hoping gma will leave the malacanang post 2010. lahat gusto maging presidente. at tayo naman ay umaasa din. umaasa sa wala!

    • KG on April 5, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    Why not HVRDS run for president.

    • KG on April 5, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    pasensya na sa mga punctuation marks ko,napapansin ko din na madaming sablay.

    • XAX on April 5, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    If we go back to what happened, Mr. Jun Lozada was initilly a participant in the cover up. That’s why he went to Hongkong to let things cool down after Neri’s testimony in the Senate.

    Upon his return, some police characters ‘kidnapped’ him. The authorities gave contradicting stories. He feared for his life and decided to spill all.

    What’s not clear is as early as December he was in contact with Senators Lacson and Madrigal. Was he agonishing then to turn witness.

    It’s good to know how these senators will try to help and protect Mr. Lozada now that the interest on him is waning. “I was used.”

    • vic on April 5, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    magdiwag, here is an example of a man convicted on testimonies of another man just as “criminal” as he was and also was his partner in Crime..Before he testified against his boss he already Plead Guilty himself to the Charges of Frauds..yet the Jury believed his testimonies..

    Friday, July 13, 2007

    International media mogul Conrad Black has been found guilty by the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago, Illinois on three charges of mail fraud and one of obstruction of justice.

    However, the jury did clear him of the rest of the charges. Black faces a maximum of 35 years in prison and a US$1 million fine at his sentencing, which is scheduled for November.

    We think the verdict vindicates the serious public interest in making sure that when insiders in a corporation deal with money entrusted to them by the shareholders

    —U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald

    He was found not guilty of nine other charges including racketeering, misuse of corporate perks and tax evasion. The 13 charges were based on allegations that Black defrauded investors in his company, Chicago-based Hollinger International (now known as Sun-Times Media Group). He was accused of stealing around US$60 million from the company.

    David Radler, who was the second-highest ranking officer at Hollinger at the time of the crimes, testified against Black, after admitting fraud himself. Radler testified before the court and jury, that Conrad Black had concocted a scheme where executives of Hollinger could pocket payments when selling small local newspapers that Hollinger owned, in exchange for non-compete agreements.

    • UP n student on April 5, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    Lozada is a perfect example of the requirement for “admissible evidence”. Many folks who post in this blogthread believe Lozada’s truthiness, many others do not.

    A problem with the sentence ” I heard about it ” is that if not a soul follows up on what has been heard, “IT” that was heard gets discarded because “IT”‘s truthiness does not get verified. It will be nice to know what resources Senators Madrigal and Lacson will make available to substantiate the testimony of Lozada.

    • Bencard on April 5, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    mlq3, would you ever allow your articles to be lifted almost en toto and then used and altered to express the contrary view? this dirk pitt is really getting on my nerves and it isn’t funny at all. i think i’m the only one who is being victimized like this in this blog. i know this pitt entity is secure in anonymity but not from you who has proprietary control of this blog. i know that in spite of heated divergence of views here, you are able to maintain reasonable amount of civility and decorum. this particular practice of this commenter is, i think, outside the bounds of elementary civility. could you and would you do something about this?

    • UP n student on April 5, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    Vic: On the David Radler testimony against Conrad Black…… all that can really be said is that David Radler’s testimony HELPED convict Conrad Black. The prosecution provided a whole lot more evidence and supporting documents against Conrad Black.

    • vic on April 5, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    upn, but do you think the prosecution would have convicted Black without Raddler?..The RCMP had been on his tail for a while and can’t press charges because they were not able to get Raddler to co-operate and have nothing on Him and Black just Thumbed his nose on our so-called “always get their Man Police Force” but Fitzgerald already had quite a very impressive records on his hand before Conrad Black and he could become a U.S. Senator anytime if he wants to…

    • vic on April 5, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    Upn, what I was meaning to say was that Fitzgerald, instead of zeroing on Black like the RCMP did, he concentrated first on getting evidence against Raddler to Get to the BIG one, that he was able to Plea Bargain with Raddler for Reduce Sentence and used him to Convict Black…That is the Genius of Fitzgerald..

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