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The making of a hero

Watching Jun Lozada on tv tonight being faced off against all his counter-accusers, it kinda felt like ABSCBN has plans to buy the movie rights and is doing everything it can to sweeten Lozada’s stock. Heck, maybe ABSCBN’s bought the damned rights already.

It was, clear as day, a set-up. Kinda like that Einstein story. Lozada looking a little peaked in a white t-shirt, forced to face a phalanx of well-dressed newly made-up government men. The message was clear: here is David, forcibly taken from the simple life of a shepherd, to face the gigantic Goliath in a battle with nothing less than truth, justice, and motherland at stake.

What a steaming pile of bullshit.

I didn’t see the whole thing, but the parts that I did catch clearly showed that Lozada was in his element. He was cool and wisecracking all over the place, while the g-men were all getting hot under the collar and red in the face. He knew his story and he stuck to it like supahglue. That was when he was strongest. He had a moment’s slip up that I saw … after he riffed about how terrible it was that our very own negotiators were influencing foreign lenders to insist on tied loans in order to circumvent bidding rules. He goes on to say that it is the borrowers that should dictate the terms of loans.

Excuse me?

His reasoning goes: as borrowers, it’s our money that we’re using to pay back the loan, so we can dictate how we’re going to pay. He then cites China as an example.

First of all, if I were an economic behemoth like China and I was going to lend some ass-backwards filipinos some money, why the fuck would I let them tell me what to do? “You don’t like my terms, filipino, you go take a hike off my gorgeous Three Gorges Dam. When you’re drowning, try telling me how I should make sure that the fucking rescue rope I throw you should be made of egyptian cotton.”

Second, if I were a bank like the ADB, and potential MONSTER CONSUMER like China wanted some of my money so it can pump more money back into the fucking market, I’m gonna bend over backwards for it and thank it’s human-rights violating ass for patronizing my fucking bank. “You don’t like my terms, ADB, you go shoot yourself in one of my bajillion sweat shops and think about the money you’re never gonna see when I take my fucking business to some other usurer.”

Get the difference?

Obviously, Lozada was truly playing to his adoring masses, plucking at their heartstrings by playing the patriotism card.

Then there was that other moment where he wails on and on about using his credit card in HongKong for several days, being thankful that he received money from the government, and feeling oppressed that he tried a little retail therapy. “I wanted to see what it was like to live like a king, so I went shopping,” he said. “But when I got back to my room, I still felt empty. You just can’t get satisfaction from money you haven’t actually earned.”

That was laying it on thick. He wanted to know what it was like to live like a king? He plays golf at Wack-fuckin-Wack! His credit card is able to absorb several days of international spending! He’s being waited on hand and foot by his adoring nuns and living at a bloody retreat house that costs La Salle parents almost a million a year to maintain! I daresay he knows what it feels like to be a king. Hell, he even bragged about being asked by Cabinet over and over to present project proposals. Is he saying that was all gratis et amore? And if it was – if he were one of those one-peso a year consultants – how could he have managed to live if weren’t independently wealthy to begin with? Puh-leeze.

He can’t get satisfaction from money he hasn’t earned? Right. Can you say sweetheart loans from his agency to his own company? Can you say imported goats? Hypocritical much?

Then, in what seemed to be a moment of pique, he goes: “I’m giving the money back.” Half-a-second later, as if realizing what he’d just said, he goes: Oboy, I’m gonna be in trouble; I was saving that money to pay for my credit card bills. Oboy. Woe is me.

What a steaming pile of — well, you get the picture.

Still in all, it was the weasel whistle-blower’s night through and through

Jun Lozada’s bravura performance tonight served one purpose and one purpose only: to cement in the minds of the public his status as giant-killer; a brave David in the face of all the nasties in government. It was a public relations move that should never have been participated in by the g-men. If they thought they could convince the public of their honesty, ABSCBN’s vaudeville was not the place for it and yet they walked straight into the trap in an excruciating display of awesome stupidity. Razon saw it eventually, but too late. Worse, Razon lost his cool and started whining about how he sacrificed an evening just to come. Whatever points he scored when he correctly called ABSCBN’s play fizzled away into the hot lights when he turned petulant.

Formoso, ordinarily so cool, lost it too and started sniping at Lozada’s upbringing. He even retardedly muttered “well, you started it” when Lozada criticized him for the personal attack. The last word belonged to the unavenged aggrieved party; Lozada definitely scored mucho sympathy points for that.

As for Abalos, he was his usual oblivious self – hearing only what he wanted to hear, and going over and over the same tired old whines we’ve all heard about a million times. BooOOoooring! Nothing compared to the drama Lozada is capable of pouring out.

About the only laudable performance tonight, apart from Lozada of course, was Donald Dee’s refusal to say anything other than he was going to court. All those others should have followed Dee’s lead.

I’ll say it again: tonight’s face off between Lozada and the g-men served only to boost Lozada’s credibility exponentially. Nothing the public loves more than an underdog victory and that was exactly what ABS CBN provided tonight. Whoever is handling Lozada’s p.r. is worth his weight in gold. He’s just turned his boy into a bona fide hero.

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15 Responses

  1. Jeg says:

    Right. Setup or no setup, Lozada kicked their collective butts. One Versus The Mob, and he won; the image war, the snark war, and even, IMO, the ‘truthiness’ war. The ‘mob’ floundered and fumbled. Lozada got to them. And yeah, Formoso was reduced to a quivering, childish imbecile. He shouldve stuck to the facts, explained the increase in contract price, and shut the hell up (since he wouldnt be able to explain the bypassing of the Monetary Board’s approval for the project).

  2. cvj says:

    In the case of NBN-ZTE, it did not have to be a loan since there was the alternative BOT model. Because of their economic situation, it was in China’s interest to convince us to take their credit. It was not the Philippines who was begging for the loan.

  3. Jeg says:

    Formoso had an answer to that too, that the loan would be more beneficial in the long run and run off a string of jargon, the bottom line of which said, loan is better. But by this time, they have already lost. The unscientific poll by ANC said Lozada was believed by 92% of the respondents. Formoso’s jargon would only be drowned out by the cyber-boos.

  4. cvj says:

    Jeg, the viability the BOT (or similar such) model, however, is dependent on the sources of revenue that would go to the proponent. Because the proponent bears the risks of not realizing that revenue, it has to make sure that the returns are worth such risks. RA 7718 (the BOT law ) caps such rate of return to 12% for negotiated contracts that operate as a monopoly. So in a successful BOT project, a 12% rate of return would be higher than the interest rate of a loan which in the case of NBN-ZTE is 3%.

    Therefore, ignoring for the moment the fact that the contract itself is overpriced, the tradeoff between the BOT model and a sovereign loan is that in using the BOT model, the government does not have to incur debt thus freeing up public money for other budgetary items (e.g. education, health). On the other hand, the BOT proponent has the opportunity to earn 12% on its investment.

  5. i saw the whole show and in fact jun lozada did not come off very well except in the end when he was finally really given time (without being rushed or interrupted) to rebut abalos et al. i actually marvelled at his cool.

    re the matter of bank loans. the s.o.p. when government borrows from the imf-world bank gang is that the imf-worldbank dictates how we’re going to spend that money and how we’re going to pay it back. and where has that gotten us? deep in debt that we have no way of paying back because somehow the trickle-down effect that the imf-wb promised has not happened. china knew this, so when they started on their economic development program, they knew exactly what NOT to do, which was to allow the lending institutions to tell them how to spend the money. in other words, china bucked the system and it didn’t hurt them one bit. why indeed can’t we do the same, is what jun lozada was saying.

  6. BrianB says:

    It’s or fault, not his. Hungry-starved for a hero, we nominate this guy against his own wishes and he is playing along brilliantly, and we who want Gloria out, owe him for this. I I could have it my way, I’ll take what Lozada has already said (he’s said more than enough) and march with it to Malacanang with the drums of revolution to gravy the message.

    And whether or not BOT or a direct gov-to-gov lending is better (I think the BOT had the better setup for us since we are insured on our investment, we pay when the project is done), Lozada’s words and Neri’s words and all their words corroborate and do not deny that graft took place.

  7. shiro says:

    *claps*

    bravo, bravo, jolly good show Lozada.

  8. rom says:

    s-s: ANC is saying that the show was originally intended to be a straight Lozada-Abalos one-on-one, but that Abalos had shown up with his cohorts in tow. Believable, I guess, although I still think it was a set up meant to favor Lozada. But in any case, I don’t think Lozada got the worse of the exchange. After all, his angle has always been that he’s the underdog of the story. Harapan just emphasized that for him, boosting his stock even more, and making Abalos et al look like school yard bullies.

  9. […] to a Thomasian, Planet Earl ; for a post-mortem on Lozada’s Saturday evening grilling, see smoke (royally pissed off), live.laugh.sparkle (who felt the opposite way) and (apropos to those who […]

  10. Keyser_Soze says:

    I really wish that we would stop treating this guy like he’s the key to the Philippine’s problems. His statement that “He didn’t know that he’d save the country’s soul.” smacks of arrogance and pride.

  11. rom says:

    Keyser_Soze: Welcome to the smoking room! And that saving the country soul bit is incredibly arrogant.

  12. Yaelski says:

    Diyan magaling ang ABS-CBN, sa pagmamanipula. Why call it a face-off when Lozada’s going to be isolated in one room and the rest would be in another location? Hindi ba naisip ng ABS-CBN na baka mas mataas ang ratings nila pag nasa iisang room lahat ng guests nila? For a while I thought I’d really like to have a word with the director. Pero, considering how self-indulgent and mayabang (and i don’t think these words fit!) ABS-CBN is, i shouldn’t have wondered.

  13. ArtM says:

    I recently came across the website below regarding Mr. Jun Lozada and I thought I should share it with you:

    patriots4truth.blogspot.com

    The soundtrack it provides might help us discern the truth better about the man.

  14. Bridal Shoes says:

    Very good and useful post.
    Thx, your blog in my RSS reader now 😉

  15. […] second instance I saw it was during ABS-CBNs Harapan where the Makati Business Club guy glowered at Jun Lozada when Lozada sounded like he was […]

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