Lozada bombshell not enough to oust Arroyo -- House allies

By TJ Burgonio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 21:10:00 02/10/2008

MANILA, Philippines-- Congressional allies of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo are confident the administration would weather the furor stirred by Rodolfo Noel "Jun" Lozada Jr., the new witness on the bribes and overpricing in the $329-million National Broadband Network deal.

Administration lawmakers, led by Speaker Prospero Nograles, said they doubted the furor over Lozada's testimony would backfire on the administration and snowball into massive protests.

But opposition congressmen believed the move by top officials to stop the communications and electronics engineer from testifying, among others, would further erode public trust in the President.

"I don't think so,'' Nograles said in a text message when asked if Lozada's testimony would take its toll on the administration and the majority coalition. "His testimony is personal to him, and can be made a basis for criminal complaints against persons he named," he said.

Besides, Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Villafuerte said Lozada never provided any evidence linking the President or her husband First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo to the deal. He added that there was nothing in his testimony that could be used as a ground for the President's impeachment.

"It was just a rehash of the old one. There's no proof; these are just mere allegations. And mere allegations are not evidence. It's easy to accuse, but it's hard to prove," he said in a phone interview.

Parañaque Rep. Eduardo Zialcita agreed: "There's no repercussion. At the end of the day, the President didn't sign a contract."

In his testimony before the Senate last Friday, Lozada linked government officials to his abduction, and attempts to stop from testifying on the NBN deal.

Click here to read full text.

So they thought things will not prosper, but they can never be sure because it is too early for them to tell. Their defensive attitude very early at this point in time only contributes to the "mystery" that surrounds this scandal.

At best, their speculation may have the effect of creating some degree of discouragement to some of the overwhelming majority of the people whose silent and earnest longing for a righteous and honest governance heaven can no longer delay for long.

Like in the game of chess, an average level player can never anticipate the moves of a world grandmaster. In this case, they are playing against the plan of the Grandmaster, the Lord! This makes things very interesting. At least they exhibit some kind of a fighting spirit (but only because they don't know who they are struggling against, but even if they know, most of them don't believe the idea that they could be struggling against the Lord).

Let them use all their intelligence and skills to the best of their abilities. While we people of the nation, let us use our faith through our prayers and fasting. As I've said before, this is a great season of testing for all the people of the nation, and the Lord will be glorified once again. This time, let us do the right thing in the right way (oops... I was about to reveal something which is not yet in its right time).

The Spirit of the Lord will search the inner parts of their being, and they can never escape the conviction of the Holy Spirit within them. It will only be a matter of time before they surrender to the love of God that is constantly calling within themselves.

They can resist the prodding of the Spirit, but they cannot escape the chastening winds of the Lord.