Something smells fishy. For one, Jun Lozada ‘s version of “the truth” has yet to be backed up by hard, solid evidence. For two, Senators are grilling Lozada like bad barbecue for hours on end. For three, no government official has yet to stand to say, “Hey, we’re going after the wrong man.” Had I been the chairman of the Senate committee hearing out the NBN-ZTE fiasco, I would have let Lozada go right now and sent a subpoena to First Gentleman Mike Arroyo the very next day. Then I’d send for the President herself.
I’m not saying that I’m supporting Lozada. I admire Lozada for owning up to his own faults, but I feel that he’s not telling the public the stone-cold truth. The day Lozada comes into a Senate investigation bearing contracts is the day I will stand behind him. But I feel for the man: the Senate investigation on the NBN-ZTE deal is fast turning into the new national embarrassment. The kind of embarrassment that makes an EDSA IV very, very possible.
However, we must be reminded that a change in leadership is not the reason why people troop to EDSA whenever the need arises. A regime change is a consequence of EDSA: this is the reason why Erap Estrada still prattled about being “the true President” of the Philippines following EDSA II. Going to EDSA is an expression of dissatisfaction, of discontent, the collective sentiment of a people pissed off with the government. EDSA is to say, “We’ve had enough,” period. Not, “We’ve had enough, so we want so-and-so to be in Malacañang.” It baffles me to no end that someone as intelligent as Sen. Miriam Santiago would reduce EDSA to a regime change.
But as far as the NBN-ZTE probe is going, something smells fishy. As much as Jun Lozada is telling what he knows of the truth, the Senate has – in my view – reached a dead end in him. Nobody’s seeing Benjamin Abalos or Romulo Neri being grilled for ten straight hours, which is a bit odd: probing Lozada further is a dead end.
I say, let Lozada go, and go after the big fish.
* – apologies to Dr. Seuss