Executive Action

Buencamino is a fellow of Action for Economic Reforms. This article was published in the Business Mirror, April 9,2008 edition, p. A10.

About week ago Manuel L. Quezon III sent  me two documents penned by Jun Lozada, “Telling the Truth” and “My Reflections on my 2nd month of Calvary.” (Those documents can be accessed at http://www.quezon.ph/1746/on-lozada-the-perils-of-being-a-snitch/.) The first, Quezon points out, is “primarily addressed to members of the clergy, the other, to the public at large.”

The second document is worth quoting extensively because it is where Lozada recounts his kidnapping, a heinous crime that the administration seems to have succeeded in burying thus far.  We can’t allow that to happen, can we?

So here, to refresh your memory are the facts of the case, as recounted by Lozada:

“I left Manila for Hong Kong upon the instruction of the office of the Executive Secretary with the person of Deputy Executive Secretary Gaite arranging the ante-dating of my documents with DENR Sec. Lito Atienza to legitimize my travel to avoid my appearance at the Senate last Jan. 29, 2008….

“[W]hen I came back to Manila last Feb. 05, 2008, I was taken forcibly by unidentified men led by a man which [sic] I would know later as Gen. Atutubo, the Assistant General Manager of the NAIA for Security, the same man who made a slashing gesture on his neck when turned around to face the CCTV camera at the NAIA. I was brought by these mystery men to Cavite and Laguna with intention to kill me and silence me for good….

“I was forced to write in my own handwriting an official request for security addressed to the Chief PNP Gen. Sonny Razon by the unidentified men upon instruction given over the phone by their superior, who was the same person who angrily told me to stop texting my location and turn off my phone, who introduced himself to me as George. I remembered Sec. Atienza calling up the man and asked that the phone be handed to me, to tell me that everything is ok and that I am free to go home; then Sec. Neri called me up as well to tell me to calm down my wife because it was creating a media hype already. But my captors had a different idea, they brought me instead to Libis, Q.C. and there I met a lawyer hired by Deputy Executive Secretary Manny Gaite of Malacañang to draft my false affidavit; and be forced to sign it under duress of Col. Paul Mascari?as of the PNP the following day, while at the same time, Gen. Razon the PNP Chief was busy changing his story of where I was and how I ended up in their custody, up until the very end when I spoke with Mike Defensor who was convincing me to have a press conference to deny that I was abducted and deny any involvement with the NBN ZTE deal, kasi nasasaktan na si Mam o kung kokontra ka eh ‘tatrabuhin ka lang naman namin sa media!,’ a threat which is in full steam and venom right now, courtesy of Malacañang mercenaries disguised as journalists and their special operatives handlers. This highly paid group has successfully buried the kidnapping and attempted rub-out case under a rubble of lies that they unceasingly manufacture against me, from poison letters, komiks, media attacks to black propaganda special operatives, waiting to pounce on every opportunity they can to destroy the trust that the public may have given me.”

In a letter sent to the Black and White Movement, (Blacknwhitemovement.blogspot.com) Lozada asked six questions that have, so far, remained unanswered:

“1. Who ordered them to abduct me from the airport last Feb. 5?
“2. If I was truly a VIP, why were they not identifying themselves when I was asking them who they were?
“3. Why did they bring me to SLEX towards Cavite, then to Laguna when I was telling them to bring me home to Pasig?
“4. Why was Gen. Razon, lying to the public that I and my sister had written a request for security when we did not? Why did he change his story three times?
“5. Why did Usec. Gaite give me P500,000 pesos and and why did the Palace have three different stories to explain this?
“6. Why did Usec Gaite give me a lawyer without my consent, who wanted me to sign a false affidavit?”

The Lozada kidnapping, abduction, attempted murder, call it what you will, crosses the line.  The Supreme Court may have, in the Neri decision, given the Palace a wide latitude in covering up crimes but I don’t think the High Court’s loose interpretation of executive privilege included “executive action.”

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