Buencamino is a fellow of Action for Economic Reforms. This piece was published in the May 6, 2009 edition of the Business Mirror, page A6.

Mike Defensor says he never asked Jun Lozada to do the things Lozada claims he asked him to do.

The true story, according to Defensor, is that he told Lozada to set the record straight because Lozada told him he was just taken for a pleasant ride around southern Luzon by an overly friendly welcome committee.

“Pare, dalawang araw ka nang hinahanap baka gusto mong mag press conference (Buddy, they’ve been looking for you for two days, you may want to hold a press conference).”

Defensor says Lozada changed his story when he got to the Court of Appeals.

“Pagdating sa Court of Appeals nung hindi na ako nakaharap ang sabi niya daw that I told him to deny that he was kidnapped and that, secondly, I told him to deny the NBN ZTE, not to talk about the NBN-ZTE.”

Mike Defensor does not lie.

He says he does not want to see his old friend go to jail.

“He’ll just amend his statement and we’re done.”

He says he only wants to clear his name for his children’s sake.

“I am doing this for my children because I do not want my name to appear in law books that I was a kidnapper.”

Defensor wants Lozada to amend his statement so that Lozada’s children will see their father’s name appear in law books as a perjurer.

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde and political adviser Gabriel Claudio claimed Defensor’s perjury case against Lozada is purely his own thing, although they admitted talking to him about it.

Remonde said he only mentioned the case “in passing.”

“I just asked about his take on it. But it was not meant to impose on him.”

Claudio said he “never advised (Defensor) on any particular course of action.”

Mike Defensor said, “Cerge Remonde called me up last Saturday, and Gabby Claudio called me up on Sunday. Cerge again called on Monday evening. They asked me to withdraw the case, because the Lozada issue was dead but is being revived.”

Mike Defensor does not lie.

In 2003, Defensor, then a Cabinet secretary, claimed he rescued Udong Mahusay, the star witness in the Jose Pidal money laundering scandal, from unnamed persons who were holding him against his will. Defensor, with the help of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) whisked Mahusay out of The Milestone Hotel in Tagaytay and flew him to safety in an Air Force chopper.

Defensor said he did what he did simply because he, along with Atty. Jose Miguel Arroyo, stood as a sponsor in Mahusay’s wedding. He had no interest whatsoever in preventing Mahusay from testifying in the money laundering charges against Atty. Jose Miguel Arroyo.

Then Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye explained that Defensor’s rescue mission, involving the PSG and an Air Force helicopter, was done in his personal capacity.

Mike Defensor does not lie. Neither does Bunye.

In 2005, Defensor held a press conference at a hotel in Quezon City to finally lay to rest the issue of the “Hello Garci” tapes.  Aided by a panel of men he said were audio experts, Defensor set out to prove that the tapes were digitally altered and spliced to create a fake conversation between Mrs. Arroyo and Comelec Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano.

“That was her voice but she was not the one doing the talking” was Defensor’s epitaph for the whole Garci episode.

Mike Defensor does not lie. He just sees things in a different light.