Archive for May 4, 2009

Kaso ni Lozada: 16; ng dinawit niya: 0

SAPOL Ni Jarius Bondoc, Pilipino Star Ngayon, May 04, 2009

GINUGULO ng Arroyo officials ang isyu ng pagkulong kay NBN-ZTE scam whistleblower Jun Lozada. Kesyo, ani Justice Sec. Raul Gonzalez, wala kunong pakialam ang admin sa pag-aresto kay Lozada sa kasong perjury dahil si datihang presidential chief of staff Mike Defensor ang naghabla. At kesyo, dagdag ni Malacañang spokesman Anthony Golez, ipinapatupad lang ng pulisya ang arrest warrant ng independent court.

Kasing-bulaan ni Defensor ang dalawa. Papanong hindi ituturing na panggigipit ng Arroyo admin ang habla, e opisyal si Defensor nito bilang chairman ng Philippine National Railways at special presidential adviser? At papanong ikakatuwirang sumusunod lang sila sa korte, e sa mas malaking isyu ay sinusuway ng Malacañang ang korte? Pinigilan ni Executive Sec. ang DILG na ipa­tupad ang utos ng Sandiganbayan na suspindihin nang tatlong buwan ang mayor ng Rodriguez, Rizal, habang nililitis sa graft.

Ito ang buod ng isyu kay Lozada: Mula nang ibunyag niya ang overpricing sa NBN-ZTE deal, 16 na kaso na ang isinampa laban sa kanya at sa asawa. Pero ni isa man sa mga isinangkot niya sa katiwalian — sina Gloria Arroyo, Mike Arroyo, Romy Neri, Leandro Mendoza, Peter Favila, Benjamin Abalos — ay walang sakdal hanggang ngayon. Miski ang mga nanuhol at gumipit sa kanya para magbu­laan sa Senado — sina Defensor, Lito Atienza, Manuel Gaite — ay walang habla. Bukod nga sa kasong perjury ni Defensor kay Lozada, ang asawang si Violet pa ang sinakdal ni Col. Paul Mascariñas ng perjury din. Maaa­lalang si Mascariñas ang pulis na dumampot kay Loza-da sa airport at “ipinasyal” sa South Expressway.

Ani Defensor nais lang niya linisin ang pangalan alang-alang sa mga anak kaya niya dine­manda si Lozada ng pagbubulaan. Hay’un, inungkat tuloy ni Rep. Teddy Casiño ang mga di-kapani-paniwalang pinagsasabi ni Defensor noon: Ang pag­sagip niya    kuno kay Senate witness Udong Mahu- say sa Tagaytay, at ang ipri­nesenta ni-yang pekeng audio expert na nagsabing hindi si Gloria Arroyo ang nasa Hello   Garci tape.

At huwag kalimutan ang ilegal na pag­­­pirma niya sa ZTE-Diwalwal deal ng July 2006.

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May 4, 2009 at 1:58 am Leave a comment

Lozada jailing displays unjust Arroyo system

GOTCHA By Jarius Bondoc, The Philippine Star, May 04, 2009

Expectedly Arroyo officials are muddling the issue of ZTE scam whistleblower Jun Lozada’s jailing. There’s Justice Sec. Raul Gonzalez, disowning any admin role in the perjury rap filed against Lozada by ex-presidential chief of staff Mike Defensor. And there’s Palace spokesman Anthony Golez, yakking that the police only served an arrest warrant issued by an independent court.

Being both as nebulous as Defensor, the two need straightening out. Lozada’s detention can only be seen as harassment by the admin, because Defensor is very much its member. Gloria Arroyo appointed him recently as railways chief and special presidential adviser. He also remains the First Family’s favorite neighbor in Quezon City. In suing Lozada, he may intend self-vindication, but he’s also getting back at a detractor on behalf of the admin. Moreover, the claim of merely obeying court orders doesn’t wash, considering that the admin defies the judiciary in bigger cases. In the same week as Lozada’s arrest, Executive Sec. Ed Ermita refused to enforce the Sandiganbayan’s suspension of the mayor of Rodriguez, Rizal.

The Lozada issue is simple. Ever since he validated in Feb. 2008 the ZTE overpricing, authorities have slapped him with 16 court charges. By contrast, not one of those whom he linked to the $329-million anomaly — Gloria and Mike Arroyo, Romy Neri, Leandro Mendoza, Peter Favila, Ben Abalos — have been indicted. Neither have those who bribed or ordered him to avoid or fib in Congress — Defensor, Lito Atienza, Manuel Gaite — been investigated. Yet Lozada’s wife too has been sued for perjury — by the police colonel-stranger who had picked him up at the airport supposedly to be taken home 15 minutes away via a circuitous route of five hours.

The better to point up the injustice, Lozada opts to not post bail. This riles Gonzalez and Golez, who rant that he’s challenging the rule of law. Lozada must post the P6,000 for his liberty as part of the legal process, they insist. Again they try to distract attention from the fact that the ZTE scam perpetrators remain free. Not to forget, the easiest way for Lozada to regain freedom is for Defensor to withdraw the lawsuit.

Defensor claims to be suing Lozada to clear his name for the sake of his four growing children. That’s debatable. As the 70-strong Former Senior Government Officials says: “What moral value does he hope to impart to his young children with his vain and obstinate defense of injured pride, while participating in the cover-up of gross abuses against our people and our laws? [He should] stop posturing as if he is the aggrieved person, even as he was clearly a participant in the cover-up of what became an aborted abduction of Lozada.”

For accusing Lozada of lying, Defensor’s checkered past is being raked up. Rep. Teddy Casiño recounts two times when Defensor told fantastic tales. One was the then-presidential chief of staff’s supposed rescue in 2003 of a Senate witness against Mike Arroyo’s hidden wealth, whom they then hid from further congressional grilling. The other was Defensor’s presentation in 2005 of a fake audio expert peddling the sham that it isn’t Gloria Arroyo’s voice in the Hello Garci tapes.

Actually there’s more. Defensor has yet to explain his participation in another scam. As Arroyo’s chief aide he had signed as witness in the July 2006 Malacañang contract that unconstitutionally gave ZTE International mining rights in Diwalwal and North Davao, Compostela. Copies of the deal are with the Senate. Justice department and Ombudsman prosecutors easily could have obtained the evidence to pin down Defensor, main signatory Favila, and authorizer Arroyo. Yet they’ve all been quicker going after crime exposer Lozada.

In sidebar, the Lozada episode inadvertently reveals quirks in the justice system. For one, the police cannot transfer detainee Lozada from its holding area to the city jail, nor can the Senate regain custody of its witness — all because the judge who ordered the arrest suddenly went on leave. So Lozada has to suffer asthma in a hot cell. Again by contrast, two healthy Swedes, nabbed in a raid of their cyber-sex den in Cagayan de Oro, have been granted special detention in air-conditioned hospital suites. Will Gonzalez and Golez blame that ironic twist on Lozada too?

* * *

Three weeks after the tragedy, the NBI finally is finding that Ted Failon’s wife’s death by gunshot was a suicide. Had they listened to the accounts of Trina’s sister and daughter, the cops would have reached the same conclusion. Sadly they heeded instead the intrigues of Raul Gonzalez and envious crabs in the media who were vilifying the popular Ted.

They’re no different from the talangka who wanted Manny Pacquiao to lose yesterday on the presumptuous notion that one more win would make him richer and hence haughty.

* * *

E-mail: jariusbondoc@workmail.com

May 4, 2009 at 12:46 am Leave a comment


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