Lead star in State’s inane, comical skit
The grotesque spectacle of a man being treated by the State as an indispensable witness in a major graft and corruption trial and, at the same time, being prosecuted by the same State for relatively minor felonies shows a justice system so screwed up it leaves a lot of sensible people shaking their heads in utter puzzlement. We may have watched too many episodes of “Law and Order” and are amazed at how efficiently the justice system works when put to better use. To get the big fish, the prosecutors offer total immunity to witnesses without whose testimonies the case could not possibly prosper. They cosset such witnesses to the extent of absolving them of all past sins as an incentive to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. All for a much greater cause.
Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada is in such a pickle. In one sala of the Sandiganbayan, the prosecutors are depending on him as the most valuable witness who has the balls to stand up to the big-time “shenaniganizers” complicit with the NBE-ZTE scam, a major breakthrough in the government’s drive against corruption. His testimony is deemed the glue that holds the shreds of evidence together; without it, the government’s case will collapse like a house of cards.
In another sala of the Sandiganbayan, the same prosecutors want him castrated for having done favors to his own sibling in government contracts—cockamamie charges compared to the billions in kickbacks being exposed in the other case. Try comparing plunder to petty theft and see if both evoke the same sense of revulsion! Alas, the government sees no difference—it’s the principle of the thing! Thus, we saw that spectacle unfold before our eyes on national TV one morning when both cases were scheduled for hearing: Lozada proudly being ushered in by the State’s handlers like a crusading witness to testify in one court and then promptly being whisked away by the same handlers like a scumbag to answer for his owns transgressions in the other court. It really is a wonder he is still interested to testify at the behest and for the benefit of the same government that also wants to cut off his balls! Only in the Philippines!
—STEPHEN L. MONSANTO,
Monsanto Law Office,
Loyola Heights, Quezon City,
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