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Of Twisted Fates that Happen Only in the Philippines


Rodolfo "Jun" Lozada has been ordered arrested on perjury charges stemming from his revelation that former Arroyo spokesperson Mike Defensor offered him money to keep his mouth shut about his abduction from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport; Jovito "The Butcher" Palparan who is being linked to the spate in extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances wherever he was assigned is on his way to Congress, and so is Ma. Lourdes Arroyo, sister of the President's husband Jose Miguel "Mike" Arroyo, to purportedly represent a marginalized sector; and Lance Corporal Daniel Smith who was convicted of raping Nicole was acquitted by the Court of Appeals with the help of no less than the Philippine government.

These things happen, perhaps, only in the Philippines, making such a sad commentary on the state of the country under the Arroyo government.

Lest we forget, Jun Lozada was the one who was abducted to prevent him from revealing what he knows about the bribery-ridden National Broadband Network (NBN) contract with ZTE of China. Now the tables have been turned on him and he is the accused. The justice system under the Arroyo government does not distinguish between prosecution and persecution. It is only in the Philippines where the whistleblower becomes the accused, and the perpetrators become the accuser.

The name Palparan has been synonymous with extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. When he was still in active service as a colonel then as brigadier general, he was assigned in Mindoro, Central Luzon, and Eastern Visayas. Upon assuming the command in these places, there was a spike in extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. Even the government-created Melo Commission and the Commission on Human Rights have linked him to these abhorrent human rights violations. Raymond Manalo who saw missing UP students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño with farmer Manuel Merino being tortured by the military before escaping from detention with his brother said that Palparan talked with him while he was in military custody. This is why previous attempts by the Arroyo administration to appoint Palparan to a position in government have been met by protests and stiff opposition. And now he is on his way to Congress because his partylist group Bantay landed a seat after being aggressively promoted (read: forced on the people) by the military. In the Philippines, the killer ends up in Congress while the victims end up jail, in the morgue, or vanishes in thin air.

Palparan will be joined by Ma. Luisa Arroyo who was suddenly thrust in the limelight when her partylist group Kasangga, which purportedly represents small entrepreneurs, landed a seat in Congress after the Supreme Court came out with its revised formula. (I wonder how they defined small entrepreneurs. If the Arroyos are small entrepreneurs then the owner of your neighborhood grocery store or gas station must be paupers.) Arroyo will be joining her brother Ignacio Arroyo and her nephews Juan Miguel and Diosdado in Congress. This is perhaps the first time that four members of a family have occupied seats in Congress simultaneously. While the marginalized sectors are barely represented in Congress, the Arroyos scoop four seats. And this happens only in the Philippines.