Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada, one of the main characters of the still unresolved NBN-ZTE scandal, was arrested the other day on orders of the Manila Metropolitan Trial Court due to a perjury case that was filed against him by Michael Defensor, President Arroyo’s former chief of staff who was implicated by Lozada in what was described as an effort to stop him from testifying before the Senate on the anomalous deal.
Lozada, the whistleblower who exposed several of the dirty details of the deal, is the first major character to be arrested with regards to the botched $329 million NBN-ZTE scandal. Manuel Gaite, the man with P500,000 to spare for a total stranger, just so he can avoid a Senate inquiry, has been promoted from deputy executive secretary to commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Benjamin Abalos, erstwhile Comelec chairman who was accused of bribery, continues to enjoy his retirement. Former National Economic Development Authority director general Romulo Neri, the only man who could have corroborated Lozada’s statements regarding the bribery attempt, is now the head of the Social Security System after he refused to divulge the details of the alleged crime by invoking executive privilege.
Defensor deems it necessary to run to the courts in an effort to clear his name that was dragged into the NBN-ZTE mess. Perjury is not a serious crime, as seen from the way people in Senate hearings routinely lie with out fear of prosecution, and Lozada could easily have posted bail, but he refuses to do so in order to protest the inaction of this administration with regards to the NBN scandal. Defensor has taken action to defend his honor, and the courts have shown that they can respond expeditiously. Is there anyone in this country who can force the wheels of justice to turn with regards to the rest of the people involved in the NBN scandal? Or has corruption already won?*