iskul bukol

09 February 2008

leah navarro and manolo quezon of the black and white movement ask the same question: if, as general avelino razon alleges, the armed force that fetched jun lozada from the airport were only out to protect him in response to his request for protection, why then did these armed men disappear the moment jun lozada’s thursday presscon was over? meaning, i suppose, that it wasn’t as if lozada no longer needed protection.

the confusion i suspect stems from the fact that before lozada left for hongkong, he HAD been asking palace functionaries for protection. he wanted the palace to wield its magic wand and make the senate’s warrant of arrest go away. at that point, he did not want to testify because testifying meant he would be under oath, he would have to tell the truth, expose the bukol, talk of moderating greed.

but the palace functionaries could find no legal remedy for lozada’s plight. gma can’t claim executive privilege as with neri because she and lozada never talked. FG is not covered by executive privilege. which meant there was no way of avoiding the senate inquiry. well, except by leaving the country. it worked for jocjoc bolante and the fertilizer scam, it might work for jun lozada and the nbn-zte mess.

fortunately for us all, lozada did not want to fly too far away, and in a few days he wanted to come home (what a rare bird), and the palace didn’t try to stop him. what did mike defensor say? : umuwi ka na nga, at pag-usapan natin kung anong sasabihin mo. or something to that effect. the catch was, lozada was not the same person who left who absolutely did not want to testify. the lozada who came home, i daresay, was leaning more and more towards doing the right thing, the honourable thing, no more lying, no more hiding, death threats or no death threats.

perhaps the palace did not know this; they assumed that lozada would still want protection. except that parang no one was in charge, there was no strategy beyond the pick-up at the airport. worse, lozada only wanted to go home, be with his wife and family. so he was willing to sign any document, yes he asked for protection, no he won’t implicate the first gentleman, anything, to get home, or to la salle greenhills, as safe a place as any, where priests and nuns waited with his family.

lozada says it was only after he had been reunited with his wife and kids, and the nuns and priests had prayed over him, and he had talked it over with his family, that he decided to take the plunge, do the right thing, the honourable thing. only then did he agree to face the press. why his “protectors” stayed around, well, i suppose the palace wanted to know what was going on, the more quickly to come up with a spin or two. but when the presscon was over, there was no reason to stay. lozada no longer wanted protection from the senate, he was on the way to senate.

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  • © Angela Stuart-Santiago