"In societies where Robbing Hoods are treated like a celebrity it is but natural to expect political parties to act like a Mafia syndicate" Political Jaywalker "In a nation where corruption is endemic people tend to confuse due process with aiding and abetting criminals" Political Jaywalker "War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left" Bertrand Russell "You have just one flash flood of money, you keep your people poor. It's like a time bomb and it's scary" Philippine Lawmaker

The Saga of Jun Lozada Continues...

The saga continues starting with the Joe De Bola errr De Venecia’s ouster in the house of congress as the speaker through what was seen as one of the most insidious machinations orchestrated by the young vultures errr turks of congress.

Nina Bumanlag of Underside in her Weaving ‘em together see's the events as a showbiz extra in the form of a new soap opera:

There will always be two sides of the story; both manipulative, scheming and always trying to look like they’re protagonists. This story about JDV, the ZTE and the Arroyos isn’t about politics anymore: it’s about a personal family saga.

The circus freak side show would have been done and over with since the “victim” is not exactly the type where people can really sympathize or identify with. Knowing the long history of a politician that has been around since the conjugal dictatorship of the Marcoses is it any wonder why there is no indignation or protest coming from the citizens? Well for one, JDV is not exactly the “Chou En Lai” type surviving the Chinese Communist party power struggle with his pragmatism but one known for horse trading and ability to source funds to get his way around.

Then Jun Lozada came into the picture and everything change overnight, the frenzy of a new national scandal grips the nation. The press conference where Jun Lozada bared the backdoor dealings on the ZTE-NBN has shown people amazed and aghast with disbelief at the brazen corruption taking place and that is just one deal, so what more with others?

The senate hearings had some memorable quotes that are amusing but also amazing and disheartening starting with Sen. Panfilo Lacson:

“She came and went like a thief in the night bringing with her an avalanche of Chinese investments,” Lacson quotes a press release regarding President Arroyo’s China visit. Lacson points out the irregularities in the ZTE NBN deal, primarily the fact that it was supposed to have been a BOT deal.

Followed up by Chiz Escudero’s:

“Sometimes it takes a thief to catch a thief,” says Escudero. He asks Lozada if some of the things he has said may not be true. Lozada says there are different kinds of thieves. In the end, Escudero tells the committee that he finds Lozada to be a credible witness.

Was he misquoted here or did he actually utter this? Hmmmmnnnn, was that based on a thief having the impression that a fellow thief is telling the truth or was he referring to Lozada as the thief catching the “other” thief? Excuse my confusion but who can blame my confusion when you see how billions of “appreciated” pesos of people’s money squandered to “modernize” government infrastructure “electronically” using financials of a tabloid story by ZTE representatives as their basis is just too much.

What is amazing is how they figured the amount of the contract but seeing that former Comelec chairman is involved in the deal it does not surprise us at all, Abalos who used to be in an agency composed of math wizards. Just like Comelec’s dagdag (add) bawas (substract) "complicated" mathematic equations the ZTE-NBN “dealers” seems to have commissioned the math wizards to do the calculation of $132M base contract price + $132M commission = $360M. Now why is there a discrepancy of $96M, where will it go or was this how people in the government count peoples' money to be squandered?

Ellen Tordesillas says Malacañang is in damage control mode, and pasted the links to 3 articles by Michael Lim Ubac:

Ermita admits asking Gaite to call Lozada

Medy Poblador admits telling Neri to ask Lozada to write letter Enrile

No E.O. 464 in current ZTE probe - Ermita

I find Medy Poblador's version confusing whether the palace was really concerned with the senate getting upset and insulted over the newspaper reports attributed to Jun Lozada for talking with the press, or over the report where Lozada was quoted saying FG Jose Miguel Arroyo spat on Lozada. This is where Medy Poblador called Neri the second time around so was it the Spitting FG Jose Miguel Arroyo that concerns Malacañang or the senate getting upset? I am inclined to believe it was the spitting thingy basing it on the past Inquirer editorial if it was true that I quoted from the previous POGB article titled "Disbar the First Boor".

Another article by Michael Lim Ubac reports that Arroyo is hurting in the allegations on the ZTE-NBN scandal “quietly” taking the attacks against her family. Let us see how long this silence takes before we see some fireworks that will dwarf the Mt. Pinatubo eruption.

Former Comelec Chairman Benjamin Abalos through his lawyer Salvador Panelo that his client will sue Jun Lozada for libel. No wonder Neal Cruz wanted the libel law revisited since it was based on an old American law during the days of the duel, but why will they change it now when it is a very effective tool to silence anyone that dares speaks out on the rampant corruption.

Panelo asked how we can believe Jun Lozada citing the Supreme Court decision on credible witness has to first establish his credibility and the testimony as credible, well is that not what the hearing was all about to establish whether Jun Lozada is credible and his testimony?

Then he further ask why would Abalos ask $130M commission from Joey De Venecia when the approval of the project will be on NEDA. I find this argument hilarious coming from a lawyer, why is it SOP for NEDA to give out commission or should it come from private sector doing “business” with the government? DUH? Good luck Mr. Abalos you are in deep sh….t, at the rate your lawyer blabbers in liepapers I see some trouble ahead looking at my crystal bola bola (lie) ball. Suggestion to Mr. Abalos.... don't follow the younger brother's lead in confessing he is Jose Pidal, just deny, deny, deny and deny.

Going back to Jun Lozada’s testimony at the senate, this probably mirrors the state of the rampant corruption in the bureaucracy:

If there were someone trustworthy I could file complaints with, I would have done so, he says. He adds that that he feels sorry for many good people in government who have invested many years in the service but end up serving political appointees.

Basketball in Intramuros, by Ville Miettinen
Remember Acza Ramirez? She was the whistleblower accused in the unconstitutional line up in front of national TV accused by the president no less as the principal suspect with the BIR people alluded to by Acza Ramirez laughing their way to the bank.

That statement coupled with the instruction given to him by Romulo Neri to "moderate their greed" tells it all on how corruption has seeped into the very core of the bureucrats consciousness and whatever moral values if any was left.

It is no wonder that when a Jun Lozada surfaces he is seen as a Filipino Hero according to Pinoy Press... I think that's a bit of a stretch this early. Besides, the guy is "star witness" meaning he is one of them or part of a dysfunctional system he referred to, have we not have enough of Chavit Singson type of hero?

Neil of A Simple Life is saying this is worth the risk, the best and last chance for Filipinos to get involved, sure but I dare say with caution lest the people get used as an unwitting pawn just like the past power grabs of GMA.

Angelica Villoria sees Jun Lozada's continuing saga in this manner:

Whatever comes out of all of this, even if nothing comes out of it -- Mr. Jun Lozada will come out of it with whatever respect that he has left of himself intact. He has shown all of us that this country will be made great again not by politicians or by prominent people in government, business, society and media but by not-so-known, imperfect Filipinos who will choose to do the right thing even when it is difficult.

Bayan’s stand on the scandal is to hold Arroyo accountable and not wait until 2010, lambasting the conspiracy to prevent the testimony of Jun Lozada of the present and former cabinet officials, the police, the military and malacanang.

Sir Martin Perez at Akomismo did a good write up on the difference between transition and change citing Randy David's premise to stress his points, which I quote:

It’s too easy to agree that we are in transition by simply looking at our society in technical terms. We are ushering modernity in our politics, economics and social values but change — any change — is never easy. It is often most difficult on those who have a lot to lose and thus, modernity challenges traditional forms of power that rely on patronage and arbitrariness to become professional and accountable.

He ends it with a very apt question considering the ramifications of the Jun Lozada revelation..... "which side of history are you on?"........... Amen brother, that I believe is what we should ask ourselves in all honesty and sincerity.

If we have a scorecard in this trapo (traditional politician) musical chair game it will be 0 for father & son De Venecia for getting ousted as speaker of the house and junior for losing the scam errr ZTE-NBN deal. 1 for team Arroyo in the first round for blatant and shameless tactics in disposing of a former ally. People 0 for allowing and voting this jokers into office.

Second round will be 1 Team De venecia, 0 for team Arroyo with Jun Lozada's revelation. The senate gets 0 for going around in circle especially Lady Meriam Santiago, Abalos & Neri - 0, the people 1 for knowing more than they should on the mechanism of corruption.Webster +2 in gaining a new word and meaning of "moderate greed".

How will this play out remains to be seen and the manner by which the senate handles this will make or break the present dispensation but the bigger question is will this be enough to spur change or is this once again a realignment of trapoistic forces? Just the same people will be oblivious until they see a strong political will to change to once and for all transform the nation where common decency and respect is afforded. Until then people will just go about their usual life of perhaps just play basketball oblivious of what is happening. And so goes Jun Lozada, The Saga continues..... where it will end no one knows for sure until people act collectively......

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Basketball in Intramuros

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