Buencamino writes political commentary for Action for Economic Reforms. This article was published in Business Mirror February 20,2008 edition, p. A10

The man struggled with his conscience and his conscience won. “Nakonsyensya siya.”

That’s the long and short of why Jun Lozada finally told the truth he had tried so hard to avoid having to tell.

The man was not shy about admitting he didn’t want to testify on the ZTE-NBN deal. He simply wanted out of the whole sordid mess after Benjamin Abalos threatened to have him killed.

When his name began to surface in the course of the Senate investigation, he asked the powers-that-be to help him avoid a Senate subpoena because he could not and would not lie under oath.

They hurriedly sent him to Hong Kong, to avoid the Senate summons. But they neglected to take care of him while he was there.

He called his handlers and told them he wanted to go back home, still pleading for help to avoid appearing before the Senate.

That’s when the powers-that-be decided to send him to a place where no earthly subpoena power could ever reach him.

Fortunately, and once again, the press obstructed the police from doing their job. The police had to surface Lozada.

But first, the law enforcers tried to turn a botched kidnapping into a case of police protection horribly misunderstood. They coerced Lozada and his sister to sign fabricated and antedated requests for police protection.

And then Mike Defensor urged Lozada to hold a press conference and lie to the entire nation. That’s when Lozada was pushed to the limit. That’s when his conscience triumphed.

The man could not turn against whatever self-respect he had left. He could not live in a world of blacked-out mirrors.

There is nothing this regime hates more than a reawakened conscience.

The entire machinery of the State has been and will continue to be used against those whose conscience cannot continue to abide lies, cheating, bribery, plunder, and murder. Gloria Arroyo’s daughter, Luli, admitted it, albeit unwittingly.

She said,  “Unfortunately many people don’t understand this, that the corruption has been built up for at least two decades, and pervades not only government but society in general, and it will probably take at least that many years to wipe it out of our system especially WHEN THOSE ENTRENCHED ARE FIGHTING BACK AND FIGHTING DIRTY NOT TO BE UNSEATED.” (Caps mine)

The Hyatt 10 were called traitors because they could not stomach the lies about the Garci tapes. Jose De Venecia wrote a letter to Mrs. Arroyo, asking her to lead a moral recovery program, and he paid the price for bothering the eternal repose of Mrs. Arroyo’s conscience.

At the mass in La Salle Greenhills last Sunday, I saw a classmate and good friend of Mike Arroyo. I teased him, took his picture with my cell phone, and told him, “I’m going to mms this photo to your friends Mike and Gloria.” He replied, “I already waved my middle finger at them when I passed the security cameras at the gate.”

I saw a nun from the Assumption College, Gloria Arroyo’s alma mater and bastion of support. My daughter commented, “Look dad, there’s a lonely Assumption nun. Are they breaking ranks?”

I laughed and texted Manuel Quezon III about the apparition and he texted back, “She is not alone.”

Everyone has his limits. I suppose that’s what Gloria’s bishops meant when they said there is some good in everyone including unrepentant liars, bribers, cheaters, plunderers, kidnappers, and murderers.

The nation has reached its limit. It is now taking the first tentative steps towards ridding itself of the shame it has been forced to live with since the Garci tapes first surfaced.

At long last.