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