Scrutinizing Jun Lozada
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2008-02-19
There are whistleblowers and there are whistleblowers. But some whistleblowers succeed in hurling tyrants from their well-secured ivory towers.

Former Ilocos Sur Governor Luis ‘Chavit’ Singson stirred a political storm when he exposed the Jueteng activities of former President Joseph ‘Erap’ Estrada, setting off the beginning of Estrada’s end.

Unlike Chavit, who actively sought to end the Estrada regime, inadvertent whistleblower Rodolfo Noel “Jun” Lozada never intended to rock the boat. That is why he tried to avoid appearing in the Senate ZTE hearings.

Unlike previous whistleblowers against the Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) regime, Jun Lozada’s expose earned tremendous public interest and attention. The airport arrival and disappearance snafu created by the panicked government reception committee intrigued the press and the public.

By the time Jun Lozada held his 2 a.m. press conference on Feb. 7 and his first Senate appearance a day later, most Filipinos had already adopted Jun Lozada as one of their own — a simple, harmless Everyman being persecuted for telling the truth.

Jun Lozada immediately registered the impression that he was but an ordinary mortal who was pushed into the spotlight. He did not even want to be inside the theatre but somehow fate placed him on the center stage of history.

Although he may not be the type of a man who was programmed for such a role and in his wildest daydreams never imagined himself playing that role — Jun Lozada is now unintentionally threatening to be the real-life Rocky Balboa who may just knockout Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

The lackeys of the regime scuttled madly and drew on their huge war chest and armory of dirty tricks to try to discredit Jun Lozada the person and his story.

Last Saturday’s Harapan (aired simultaneously on ABS-CBN and ANC) was meant to be a one-on-one between Ben Abalos and Jun Lozada. But the Palace sent an entire mob. Despite that, 92% of those who viewed the face off and responded believed Jun Lozada and not the mob.

I had to meet Jun Lozada. I had to see for myself how this ordinary mortal drew such inner strength and thus become the beacon of light to a people long suffering from exploited ignorance.

I felt compelled to meet this extraordinary ordinary person who now inspires even the protest-fatigued and the indifferent among us. As the professional who refused to be consumed by the culture of corruption in the government, he connected the dots for us and unraveled the shameless greed and evil at the very top.

I got my wish last Friday. While over 10,000 rallied in Ayala Avenue in the first public display of outrage resulting from the Lozada expose, I had the privilege to have four hours of exclusive interview with Jun Lozada.

Compared to Singson, the pressure is much greater for Jun Lozada who does not have a political fiefdom or a team of bodyguards. Chavit’s political career had prepared him to accept whatever repercussions his expose may reap.

Jun Lozada is a stranger lost in a political milieu. That is why, unlike Chavit who was cool and collected when he delivered his bombshell on Estrada in Congress, Jun Lozada in the Senate was visibly in agony, many times unable to hold back tears.

To be able to appreciate Jun Lozada and how he was able to do what he did, I had to probe into his upbringing and the key persons who have molded his thinking and feeling.

Jun Lozada attributes his character formation and nationalist passion to his father. His parents were Chinese migrants who left China to escape the extreme social conditions during the Communist-Kuomintang civil war. Throughout his life, Jun’s father taught his children to love and pay the Filipino nation back for what they now enjoy — a home and a better life.

Jun and his father had a special bond. Although a middle child, Jun was entrusted with his father’s name which is traditionally given to the eldest son.

Asked who he considers his favorite heroes, Jun rates his father as number 1. Jun esteems the values of his migrant father — to love the chosen country that sheltered them, his love for his family and his humanity. Jun recounts that his father, despite their modest means, always had something to spare for those who needed his charity.

I have always believed that people who have enjoyed a healthy and loving relationship with their parents and siblings will also transfer the same positive behavior to their countrymen.

I also believe that these thieves who are plundering our country, unmindful of the misery their greed inflicts on our people, somehow never had the benefit of a right and proper family relationship.

One who hates his parent or sibling will just as easily hate his country and people. Hate inside the home easily extends to hate outside the home.

Have you ever wondered if all this mess that we are in is actually outgrowths of the dysfunctional family relationships of our well-known couple?

(Jun Lozada’s heart and soul will be under scrutiny in the next Chair Wrecker column.)

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