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Mar 27th
Home Sections Philippine Presidency A President Under Siege: Nick T. Pernia’s Dissertation on the NBN-ZTEgate (Part I)
A President Under Siege: Nick T. Pernia’s Dissertation on the NBN-ZTEgate (Part I) PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 22 February 2008 13:19
or brevity, let me limit my comments on the so-called National Broadband Network-ZTE Corporation (NBN-ZTE) scandal, which is now going the rounds among both local and Overseas Filipinos. Presumably, the Internet chatter is aimed at igniting outrage against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (PGMA) and force her to step down.

Author’s Note: The author is a Filipino-American entrepreneur who maintains residences and businesses in California and Southern Nevada. He hails from the Great Province of Bohol, Philippines.

A close analysis at this purported letter of "Jun" Lozada, now hailed as either a hero or a jester – depending on one's perception of what now transpires in our country – readers get varying impressions.

To my mind, having watched Mr. Lozada over Manila's media networks from Day One, close enough to judge his person, it is difficult to believe he really wrote the subject letter.

In the first place, in the course of his testimonies, he often disavowed the contents of the letters (that) he actually signed, making it appear he was just misled as an innocent and gullible witness.

It is a pity Mr. Lozada who, at the start, repeatedly claimed to be just an ordinary citizen who, like a naive "promdi", typically shies away from involvement in a Senate probe – a ploy that earned him the image of an underdog – now seems to think he got the support of the majority, notably the Catholic Church.

This notion built up self-confidence, ego, and little arrogance such that, Mr. Lozada confidently provided answers to some questions that should appropriately be answered by others. He seemed to get into the viewers' nerves by repeatedly wiping off tears and resorting to other cheap theatrics.

His new-found confidence seems to embolden him to swipe even wild charges and speculations against other prominent personalities.

Given the numerous documents purportedly signed by Mr. Lozada or members of his family, who all claimed to be hoodwinked, it is now difficult to discern what the truth really is.

Assuming he did write the subject letter, most of what are alleged therein seems to be his personal opinions and speculations which, anybody with self-serving agenda, is capable of doing.

Happily, in a TV appearance last night, Romy Neri who seems, unfairly or otherwise, portrayed the main villain in the current controversy, revealed all that he knows about what every Filipino demanded to know: The involvement of GMA.

Mr. Neri finally divulged what the President said to him about the Pps 200,000,000.00 (or about $5,000,000.00) alleged bribe offer from (then COMELEC Chairman) Abalos. "DO NOT ACCEPT IT" is what, according to Mr. Neri, the President categorically instructed him to do.

Hopefully, Neri's revelation diffused the simmering outrage that threatens to blow into major crisis that could cost GMA her presidency.

Question: Can the 87-million Filipinos allow the country to sink into a dark hole on the strength of allegations of a few noisy minorities (individuals) with varying motives and agenda?

After President Marcos who reportedly looted about $15 billion and former President Estrada whose notorious bungling are all well known, can GMA's alleged wrongdoings merit any comparison? Comparing a mouse with an elephant?

Watching her in a recent appearance before an international business gathering in Makati, to my mind, with the country now enjoying unprecedented economic strides, our people can hardly, if at all, find any better replacement. Who, (Vice President) Noli de Castro?

Sadly, in my opinion, the ones eagerly waiting in the wings simply look like hungry vultures itching to pounce on their hapless prey: Our country.

Contrary opinions, anyone?

(To be continued . . .)

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Last Updated on Saturday, 23 February 2008 16:50

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