Gloria’s Extraordinary Rendition
HE was “eager” to return home in order to face an ongoing Senate inquiry, but he suddenly vanished into thin air in the country’s main airport just before the media and some opposition senators could get a glimpse of him.
Rodolfo “Jun” Noel Lozada, one of the crucial witnesses to the scandal-tainted National Broadband Network Deal between the Arroyo government and China’s ZTE Corp., is now part of the increasing number of victims of enforced disappearances.
Lozada is the guy mentioned by Ramon Tulfo in his column On Target who was insulted by First Gentleman Mike Arroyo in public. Tulfo wrote the “arrogant” heavy weight “spat” at Lozada.
Sources, according to newspaper reports, said those officials spirited away Lozada, the president and CEO of Philippine Forest Corp., from the Ninoy Aquino Internation Airport (NAIA).
Lozada, along with Commission on Higher Education and former Socio-economic Planning Secretary Romulo Neri, was set to testify on the NBN controversy after he was issued an arrest warrant by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.
An arresting team sent by the Office of the Senate Sergeant at Arms (OSSA) and members of the press who were supposed to cover the victim’s arrival saw neither shadow nor a strand of hair of Lozada who, along with Neri, implicated first gentleman Mike Arroyo in the multi-billion dollar deal.
Luckily, Lozada was able to send a text message to his family informing them that he was “abducted” and was taken somewhere “out of town.”
“I was kidnapped,” his text message said.
Lozada’s sobbing wife pleaded the government to return his missing husband. “I want my husband back. I just want my husband back. Please ibalik niyo na ang asawa ko,” begged Violet Lozada in a radio interview.
The kidnapping took place after the infamous congressional coup that ousted former house speaker Jose De Venecia who was replaced by Davao Rep. Norberto Nograles.
The coup de tat at the House of Representatives and the NAIA kidnapping have something in common.
First, they were ordered by the Malacañang palace. Second, the goal is to ensure the safety of only one person— President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
You might have heard Jose De Venecia cried that his ouster was orchestrated and planned by the First Gentleman and financed by a wealthy crony who’s making lots of money out of onerous government contracts.
There’s a strong reason to believe that this one is yet another handiwork of the same powerful people who ousted the former house speaker.
Mike Arroyo is the reason why some senators, especially Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, wanted to pursue the probe on the immoral NBN deal. Everybody knows about the word “back off” allegedly spitted by the Firs Gentleman in the face of JDV’s son Joey De Venecia, the major stockholder of Amsterdam Holdings Inc.— the losing bidder of the NBN deal.
What happened to Lozada is a local version of extraordinary rendition. This kind of rendition is now being used in the United States in the apprehension and extrajudicial transfer of a person, usually a suspected terrorist, from one state to another.
But Lozada is neither terrorist nor suspect. All he’s got is a testimony that could incriminate Mike Arroyo— a testimony that could rock the throne of Gloria Arroyo who had just gotten rid of De Venecia.
This kind of state-sponsored abduction is not new to the public. The Arroyo administration, through the use of police and military, kidnapped then key witness— Eduardo “Udong” Mahusay— who linked Mike Arroyo to the Jose Pidal money laundering activities.
After 2004 elections, Gloria Arroyo allegedly ordered the abduction of a teacher in Mindanao who knew about some election irregularities that benefited the president in order to silence her.
These state sponsored kidnappings, apart from the victims of enforced disappearances like Jonas Burgos, are the manifestation that this country is now ruled by a mafia-like regime that is ready to kill, kidnap, torture its own people.
Some extremely powerful people— they are powerful for they use government resources, money and manpower for their whims and caprices— wanted to suppress the truth. The disappearance of Lozada and others seeks to ensure the perpetual reign of lies in this country, so that the people will continue to live in an illusion that they are safe and that they breathe the air of freedom and democracy under the current regime.
The ultimate beneficiary of these “activities” is none other than Gloria and her men. A government that blatantly and flagrantly violates the rights of its people is an anomaly in a society that is regarded as free and democratic.
A despotic system of government will not permit this country to survive as half-loot, half-property.
Under the Arroyo government, trading is done not by ability and goods but by favor. Business is done these days by pull and by force. The ZTE Deal is the clearest proof that this government deals in terms of favor and that its officials deal by virtue of their title and position at the expense of the Filipino taxpayers.
It started with that infamous word “back off!” That’s how this government makes business— by force, favor and perceived power or influence.
Money can be used as a barometer in defining what kind of society or government we have. Today, only those occupying perky and influential seats get rich, while the businessmen who mooch around the President are like hungry wolves that impatiently wait for the meat to be thrown to them.
Just follow the money and you will see what kind of system we have.
This administration does all the strategies it can in order to remain in power. With the numerous monstrous crimes they had committed, do you think Gloria and her men would give up their power in 2010?