Is Jun Lozada the bearer of God’s truth or the devil’s lie?
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2008-02-10
If it had been scripted, it would have been the best one yet and one that not any our own best productions on film and television can ever match. If it had been an acting job, as some Arroyo regime minions suggest, then we have just witnessed a sterling performance of one fantastic thespian in Philippine theater history.

Is Rodolfo Noel “Jun” Lozada Jr. the bearer of God’s truth or the devil’s lie? Was Lozada’s dope a product of spontaneous revelation that had been triggered by extreme strain from events beyond his control? Or, was he selected, coached and primed to awaken a nation to the realities of a wicked and corrupt regime?

Jun Lozada’s story duplicated the shock and drama of the Garci Tapes scandal. Jun Lozada became the focus of national attention when word spread about the desperate rush to whisk him out of the country to prevent him from testifying in the Senate ZTE Hearings. His subsequent abduction upon his return to the country exposed a regime in extreme panic.

What secret does Jun Lozada know that the squatters in Malacañang are determined to keep untold? The answers to that question started to dawn on the nation when Jun Lozada held an early morning press conference last February 7 at the De La Salle Greenhills after he was released by his government abductors.

Where “Blue Chicken” Romulo Neri left us hanging, Jun Lozada gave us a detailed guided tour of the enormous ZTE contract overprice and the movers behind it. Lozada named former Comelec Chairman Ben Abalos and First Gentleman Mike Arroyo as the main promoters. He provided details of the meetings that explained what led to the US$ 130 million overprice.

Unlike ousted House Speaker Joe de Venecia who had nothing to lose by exposing regime secrets on realizing that the end of his reign was inevitable, Jun Lozada had everything to lose by speaking out. He could have spared himself and his family all the agony and emotional trauma if he had only cooperated with the regime.

But they threatened him and his family. Just like Chavit Singson who was similarly forced to be a whistleblower by circumstance, Lozada also felt that the guilty rogues in his story will never be comfortable keeping him alive and that it may only be a matter of time before those who are desperately keeping him clammed up will want to silence him forever. His survival rested on letting the people know and thus turning them into his watchdogs against adverse action from the regime.

True to form, the Arroyo regime lost no time in trying to demolish the credibility of Lozada. But Lozada’s narration of what happened to him, how he was abducted right after he stepped out of the plane at NAIA and taken by car to a place where he was coerced into signing documents was totally credible. The battle lines had been drawn: a credible Lozada against a regime already well established for cheating and lying.

Even Sen. Miriam Santiago, who admitted during the Senate Hearing last Friday that she was out to test Lozada’s credibility, could not score points. She only ended up bolstering Lozada’s credibility when the latter openly confessed he was neither hero nor saint but one who is simply trying to save what is left of his soul.

Regime allies in the Senate were conspicuously absent — leading us to think that they knew the jig was up and there was a political whirlwind to be reaped if they tried to duplicate Sen. Santiago’s attempt to demolish the credible witness.

Barely eight hours after his La Salle press conference, a good friend told me that a businessman was spreading the story that Lozada is a “notorious swindler” and a very crafty con man. By now, this old trick of the regime had lost its sheen. Worse things than that were said of Gov. Chavit Singson and yet he was believed when he exposed Juetengate which led to Joseph Estrada’s ouster and conviction.

Sen. Santiago’s most indecorous blow was insinuating a political agenda behind Lozada’s actions. Sen. Santiago should do herself a favor and ask the man on the street who he thought was telling the truth last Friday at the Senate Hearing.

The Palace hurriedly staged press briefings last Thursday and Friday to try to control the damage wrought by Lozada’s press conference in La Salle and his Senate testimony. The Thursday press conference had Sec. Toting Bunye, DENR Sec. Lito Atienza and PNP Chief Avelino Razon conniving to debunk the abduction issue. The Friday presscon had the DOTC Secretary, Assistant Secretary and a former CICT head attempting to debunk the $130 million ZTE overprice.

The Arroyo regime mouthpieces only managed to remind us of the Three Stooges and the Marx Brothers at their stumbling best. You see, that is the problem with lying. The longer and more often that you try to perpetuate a lie, the more chances there are for the truth to emerge. Even the wily serpent in the Garden of Eden was eventually exposed for promoting falsehoods.

Lozada has become the Arroyo regime’s worst nightmare. He comes when the credibility of the regime is at its lowest point. Makati Business Club’s Bertie Lim is right — this could be the tipping point that will lead to the undoing of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Lozada is “one of us” to the ordinary Filipino who is sick and tired of all the self-serving politics and is cynical about reforms ever happening with the present set of politicians. This makes him an even more formidable threat.

  Previous Columns:

It had to happen on The Ides of March and Holy Week

Suggested guidelines for liability- free Internet posts

Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

[Click here for the Archive]

Home | As I Wreck This Chair | High Ground | Career Brief and Roots | Advocacies | Landmarks Copyright 2006 The Chair Wrecker by William M. Esposo