The arrest of whistle-blower Rodolfo "Jun" Lozada Jr. and the filing of 16 criminal and civil cases against him and members of his family are blatant acts of harassment with the object of suppressing the truth about the overpricing and bribery that attended the NBN-ZTE deal.
It is highly ironic that while Mr. Lozada's testimony is now being used against him, the persons implicated in his testimony are still immune from prosecution. No less than a Cabinet member, former NEDA director general and now SSS president Romulo Neri, testified under oath that then COMELEC chairman Benjamin Abalos had offered him a bribe in exchange for the facilitation of the approval of the NBN-ZTE contract. And yet, the Ombudsman has yet to file any charges against Mr. Abalos.
The Makati Business Club joins former President Corazon Aquino and the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines in expressing our full support for Mr. Lozada and his fight against corruption. We remain hopeful that despite current setbacks to hold erring officials accountable before the courts of law, there will come a time for these officials to account and for truth to triumph in the end. We call on the Filipino people to remain vigilant against all efforts to use our justice system to intimidate whistle-blowers in order to suppress the truth.
Postscript - I was skeptical of Mr. Jun Lozada from the very beginning, because he said little that was different from what was happening. What has made his journey unimaginable to inspiring to challenging is the crucible of spin doctors, harassment, character assassination, and now criminal charges that the government has arrayed to discredit him. Hindi na nakuntentong pabayaan dahil eleksyon na next year. I am so ashamed and dumbfounded people find excuses for the GMA administration because they have been conditioned to distrust everyone else. Such cynicism is one of the greatest atrocities that our leaders have perpetrated, first with the Estrada administration, then pushed to the limits of decency by the Arroyo administration. One can only hope that there is some learning or development we can glean from this.