So what else is new?


So what else is new?


So what else is new under a govern-ment run by a criminal gang?



No credible threat has been established after all this time against the life of ZTE witness Rodolfo Lozada Jr. He said he has been receiving text messages threatening him harm. He has not volunteered his suspicion on where the threats came.

But this much is beyond dispute: On the day he was taken upon arrival from Hong Kong there was a clear threat to his liberty. And that was in the form of an arrest warrant issued by the Senate for his failure to appear before a hearing on the alleged corruption that attended the $329 million national broadband deal.

The conclusion, therefore, is that Lozada was taken into custody no less than by policemen – if we are to believe the testimony of police officials who appeared at yesterday’s hearing – to help him evade the Senate warrant servers waiting for him at the arrival area.

Is this now how agents of persons in authority treat the Senate, one of the two chambers that make up the legislative branch of government? Help a person – if indeed Lozada originally did not want to appear before the Senate – give the slip to the sheriffs?

Senate President Manny Villar was right in saying he resented the implications of what the policemen did to Lozada on those two days he was under their custody. Following the policemen’s logic, they would provide “protection,” zealously at that, to anybody who feels his liberty is threatened by a congressional arrest warrant.

Good that it dawned on Lozada himself that he would be safer in the custody of the Senate than being under the “protection” of armed men he did not know and who were bringing him to some unknown destination.

What if Lozada indeed did not want to appear before the Senate for fear he would be disclosing matters that would embarrass the powers that be, at the very least, or send them to jail, at the worst?

That was meant to be rhetorical question. For we know already know the answer or answers. Let’s name just two of them, namely, Joc Joc Bolante and Virgilio Garcillano.

Senate warrant servers in the case of the former and House servers in the case of the latter failed to take them into custody because of the Executive branch’s active role in hiding them. In the case of Bolante, he wanted to protect the identity of the mastermind in the P720 million fertilizer scam. In the case of Garcillano, he wanted to protect the identity of the woman who had been calling him to ensure her election margin of one million votes.

Now that we are talking about $130 million in kickback demanded by former election chair Benjamin and $70 million demanded by another who the witness could potentially identify, the wonder is Lozada did not end up in an unmarked grave in Laguna or Cavite.

So what else is new under a government run by a criminal gang?


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