Rise up for the Truth! Rise up for Jun Lozada!

In February 29, 2008, Akbayan Youth joined the interfaith rally for truth in Makati, expressed support for Jun Lozada and his testimonies against ZTE-NBN deal, and called for the ouster of GMA and for system change.

Today, corruption and government anomalies under GMA’s regime remain unabated.Palparan, branded “the butcher” of activists, is awarded a seat in Congress. GMA and her cohorts are moving heaven and earth to extend her term through charter change.

And, Jun Lozada is facing arrest.

Rebel against this kind of government!
Rebel against this kind of system!

Rise up for the Truth! Rise up for Jun Lozada!
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Cory Aquino backs Jun Lozada

By Dona Pazzibugan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 02:55:00 04/26/2009

CORAZON “Cory” Aquino has again thrown her support behind whistle-blower Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada Jr. and urged those “who support the truth” to speak out against his impending arrest on a perjury charge filed by a close ally of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The ailing former President made known her full support for the whistle-blower of the purported corruption surrounding the scrapped national broadband network contract between the Philippine government and China’s ZTE Corp. after it became apparent that he would be arrested soon, according to Sr. Mary John Mananzan, co-chair of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP).

“President Cory is urging those who support the truth to come out strongly with their own statements in support of Jun,” Mananzan said, adding: “We’ll mobilize people. Of course we’ll do something about it.”

The AMRSP has been providing sanctuary to Lozada and his family since he testified at the Senate in February 2008 on the alleged bribery and overpricing in the aborted $329-million NBN-ZTE deal.

Lozada and his wife are now facing a total of 16 charges ranging from dishonesty, perjury to theft.

“My mom says she feels for Jun Lozada and his family,” Ballsy Cruz, Aquino’s eldest daughter, said Saturday in a text message to the Inquirer.

“She will be praying harder for Lozada,” Cruz also said of her mother, who is undergoing chemotherapy for colon cancer.

Manila mayor’s petition

A warrant for Lozada’s arrest is expected to be issued at any time with the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 11 issuing a March 19 resolution overturning the decision of the Manila Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 26 to dismiss the perjury charge filed by Michael “Mike” Defensor, Ms Arroyo’s former chief of staff.

On Friday, the Manila MTC Branch 26 rejected Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim’s petition for recognizance that would have allowed him to take Lozada in custody after the arrest warrant has been served.

Defensor filed the perjury case in July 2008 accusing Lozada of giving varying statements to the Senate and the Court of Appeals about Defensor’s alleged instruction to him to lie and say he was not kidnapped and that he knew nothing about the NBN-ZTE deal.

Mananzan said Lozada was served a copy of the Manila RTC resolution on April 14 at the La Salle Green Hills, where the man and his family have been staying.

Lozada said he would not resist arrest as a sign of protest against what he called the government’s continued harassment through a number of court cases filed against him and his wife.

Neither will he post bail, he said.

Suffering in silence

“We know that the dominion of the abuser over his victim is in the victim’s silence. We’ve been suffering in silence. I’d like to break out of my silence. Lalabanan ko na sila (I will fight them now),” Lozada declared in an interview.

“This is my way of breaking from our suffering,” he said, adding:

“I’ve reached the point where I’m preparing myself psychologically how to face them. I’ll ask them to bring me to trial. I’m challenging them to prove the charges against me, and I’ll stand by what I said.”

Lozada had earlier said that Defensor asked him to lie about what he knew of the purported irregularities in the NBN contract.

“I stand by my word that Mike is doing this to me to cover up for the criminal involvement of Gloria (Arroyo) in the NBN [issue],” he said. “Even if I go to jail, at least I can look at myself with some degree of respect, rather than keep silent.”

So tiresome

According to Lozada, his wife breaks down every time they receive a court order on any of the many cases filed against them.

“Nakakapagod na sila (They’re so tiresome). It’s been more than a year and they haven’t stopped,” he said.

Lozada said he knew that he was taking a big risk in putting his fate before the courts.
“I don’t want to appeal [the Manila RTC decision] anymore. There’s no point in appealing before the Court of Appeals,” he said.

Lozada said there had not been any court trial on the NBN-ZTE scandal, and that the perjury case might provide the jump-off point for a full-blown court hearing on the alleged irregularities in the deal.

“I’d like to have my day in court. We should go to trial. I might be able to present my evidence there,” he said.

The Manila MTC dismissed Defensor’s perjury charge on Nov. 14, 2008, for “lack of probable cause.”

But the Manila RTC reversed the MTC decision upon Defensor’s appeal.

The RTC said the MTC went “a notch above” the requirement for determining probable cause and seemed to have already rendered a verdict on the case when it concluded that an element of the offense was absent without conducting a trial.

Total of 16 charges

In a statement it issued last week, the AMRSP said: “We deplore the use of the courts and law enforcement agencies in the continuing harassment of Jun Lozada including his wife (who was ordered arrested by the Manila MTC upon the charges of the Philippine National Police) and other family members who are now facing a total of 16 charges for cases ranging from dishonesty, perjury to theft.

“This arrest order is a warning to other people both inside and outside the government who have knowledge of important information related to the practice of corruption of people in power to shut up or else.”

The AMRSP said it would stand by Lozada.

“We are asking all decent Filipinos who still care for this country and for the future generations of Filipinos to stand alongside Jun Lozada in this time of great difficulty and for the trials ahead,” it said. With a report from Fe Zamora

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akbayan youth shows support for Jun Lozada by wearing mask.
akbayan youth shows support for Jun Lozada by wearing mask.

AKBAYAN YOUTH NEWS RELEASE:

Jun Lozada Multiplies
29 February 2008

Wearing the face of Jun Lozada, Akbayan Youth joins the youth and students march to the interfaith rally in Makati.

“The youth wants to tell Mr. Lozada that he is not alone in this battle for truth,” Machris Cabreros, Akbayan Youth Chair, explains why they are wearing Jun Lozada masks. “We call for the ouster of Gloria Arroyo. But it is not only change in faces that we want, we want system change,” she adds.

For a starter, E.O. 464 should be scrapped as it is used to repress truth, laments the group. Strategic reforms in elections, equitable distribution of resources, transparent accounting of public spending and loans, and greater provisions for social services like education are identified by the Akbayan Youth as critical in the process of system change.

Akbayan Youth, along with TEAM RP, calls on their fellow youth to be bearers of hope and crusaders for truth. They call on their fellow youth to remain vigilant and to rise above the moral bankruptcy and truth crisis in the country. “We, the youth, should take the lead in the search for credible, accountable, and incorruptible leaders,” says student leader Bianca Lapuz, Secretary General of Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP)

Akbayan Youth, TEAM RP, students from Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) schools, Ateneo De Manila University and University of the Philippines- Diliman march from Don Bosco Makati to join the Interfaith Rally.

Students from Philippine School of Business Administration (PSBA), Philippine Normal University (PNU), Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), and University of Makati (UMak), among others, also take part in the youth march.

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