Probinsiyanong Intsik Invictus
Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada is under siege – again. The hugely popular star witness in the $329M national broadband scandal involving the Arroyo government and the China-based ZTE Corp. – after going through the psychological tortures of death threats and smear campaigns against him and his family – is facing possible arrest. Former presidential chief of staff Mike Defensor sued for Lozada for perjury – and the case was dismissed for lack of probable cause by the Manila Metropolitan Trial Court on Nov. 14, 2008. But the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 11 overturned the ruling, heeding Defensor’s appeal, and is set to issue an arrest warrant. Lozada, a government consultant and insider to nefarious schemes, caught the public’s imagination by bravely testifying to the Senate that 1) the deal’s true cost is only $132M – and the rest went to kickbacks; 2) Among those privy to the secret negotiations were First Gentleman Mike Arroyo and the then Commission of Elections Chairman Benjamin Abalos; 3) He (Lozada) was abducted by police elements upon arrival from Hong Kong and was warned not to say anything about the covert deal – among key testimonies. It is a matter of public record that when Lozada found refuge within the La Salle Greenhills-based Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Phils., Defensor sought him there personally. Lozada revealed in the Senate – under oath – that Defensor asked him to deny the kidnapping to the media. That’s why Defensor filed his suit. “I’m challenging those to prove the charges against me,” declared Lozada to the Inquirer. “I’ll stand by what I said.” Manila Mayor Fred Lim – a man of proven integrity – has offered to take Lozada under his custody – but the court refused. But Lozada should not be arrested, if only the government will only respect the law, because he’s still under Senate custody, says Sen. Alan Cayetano, who was chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee during Lozada’s series of consistent testimonies. Public support for Lozada is now coming from the formidable combination of former Presidents Cory Aquino and Joseph Estrada – and the burgeoning mass support from the now socially-aware masses. 2Rivers expresses full support for Lozada, and equally full agreement with Sr. Mary John Mananzan: “This arrest order is a warning to other people both inside and outside the government who have knowledge of important information related to the practice of corruption of people in power to shut up or else.” I never thought I’d write this down, but the truth is, on a personal level, the way the Arroyo administration wields power – under which my once-beloved country officially became the world’s most corrupt nation – I’m sorry to say that I now find it shameful to be a Filipino.