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La Sallian Brothers are hypocrites

Since this whole Jun Lozada affair broke out, the La Sallian brothers have been in the thick of things, coming out in vociferous support of Lozada based on nothing more substantial than the man’s word. This despite the fact that they maintain a Center for Social Responsibility. Is it responsible to condemn without hearing? Is it responsible to presume guilt and then to arbitrarily dismiss as false anyone who dares to contradict?

I hope this letter of Manny Gaite’s wife gives those ‘Brothers’ something to think about. More to the point, I think La Sallian parents should pull their kids out of LSGH while it is still being run by this bunch of hypocrites.

“Dear Br. Bernie FSC and my Lasallian family,

“I would like to respectfully furnish you and our community with a copy of the statement of my husband, Deputy Executive Secretary Manuel Gaite in the light of the repeated public allegations of Mr. Jun Lozada against him.

“The words of St. Augustine ‘No one can claim a monopoly of the truth’ are what have kept my husband and I going at this darkest hour of our family life. I fully stand by the integrity and honesty of my husband and I know he is not capable of doing anything as dishonorable as what Mr. Lozada have kept telling the senate and the media.

“It is very sad that when my husband finally got a chance to face Mr. Lozada in the senate and state the facts from his side, Mr. Lozada so easily got away with his very damaging statements in the previous days. I vividly recall how in a previous senate hearing before my husband was called to testify, not to mention in many media interviews, Mr. Lozada so freely maligned the name of my husband, saying among others, that it was my husband who told him to lie, go to Hong Kong to evade the Senate, and allegedly used the term “dilatory tactic” to orchestrate the entire cover up.

“When my husband finally got his chance to be heard in the senate, at one point, Mr. Lozada corrected himself, saying he must have confused my husband with another lawyer. And Mr. Lozada so easily got away with it, just like that, and still earned himself the description of a very credible and consistent witness thereafter.

“Last Saturday night, when my husband was not there in the “Harapan” to be able to promptly refute, clarify or correct Mr. Lozada’s heavy allegations, Mr. Lozada again so freely accused my husband, saying that the same gave him P 500,000 to keep him away from the Senate.

“The next day, which was the 100th year of our town Fiesta where my husband happens to be the parish centennial celebration president, was a very trying time for us as a couple, when he had to stand up in our parish and thank all those who have supported him for the celebration. Although I know how he must have been hurting inside, I never heard him utter any word to use the opportunity to air his side in the face of such damaging accusations. It was also the same time when my own La Salle community was hailing Mr. Lozada a hero in our nation’s search for truth, someone whose words cannot be questioned anymore, someone against whose words, a differing view would only be condemned.

“I have silently watched and listened to how our La Salle brothers and other members of our La Salle community, many other religious and former government leaders have repeatedly affirmed the credibility of Mr. Jun Lozada to a level seemingly beyond doubt, calling others whose words do not jibe with his story as corrupt and merely covering up for the President. Even then, I prayed I would not be tempted to pass judgment against the brothers although in my hearts of hearts, my question was how could some of the brothers whom I thought knew me personally and my husband quickly judge him purely based on the allegations of Mr. Lozada?

“During the MBC meeting the other week, I learned that Dean Juico stood up for my husband whom he had known since the time of Pres. Cory and asked the MBC to at least hear first what my husband had to say in the senate before asking him to resign based on Mr. Lozada’s very serious allegations). I was surprised to learn today from Dean Juico that it was only a couple of days ago when Bro. Armin was able to recall that Deputy Executive Secretary Gaite is my husband. It bothers me because I had thought that considering that if the allegations of Mr. Lozada are all true, the people charged would be punished; at least due diligence must have been done by persons supposedly discerning and courageously standing up for the truth.

“I know I’m not an authority in spirituality but many innocent people could be irreparably damaged through trial by publicity and even our own search for truth if our means are not as carefully consistent with our sincere ends. This is not to discredit anybody nor to criticize those who fully support the crusade for truth of Mr. Lozada as well as those who believed him completely but rather to contribute to our communal discernment of Truth for our country.

“The thing that get me going these days, as I have said, are St. Augustine’s words No one can claim the monopoly of the truth. Truth is neither yours nor mine. It is God’s. We all hold in our fragile hands a piece of Truth and I believe the call is for us to put those pieces together, humbly and with a readiness to hear other sides, even a contrary view, believing the best and not the worst in each other in order to build our country from where we are, however broken or in need of healing.

“This will be my first time to say publicly that my husband has served four presidents as an honorable man. And in all those times, not one president I recall can claim perfection nor freedom from any allegations. What if, by any chance, not all that Mr. Lozada are saying are true?  Can we still bring back the good names of people and their families should they be later proven innocent in the court of law, or completely erase the clouds of doubt that have been sown in the minds of people against them?

“All I ask is for you to give my husband and all others concerned the benefit of the doubt and the human right of presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. Loving my husband as much as I do, I would not in any way attempt to obstruct justice, if he has truly done anything unlawful or dishonorable.

“Since I am currently serving in your august school as Director of our Center for Social Responsibility and Human Development, which I consider the closest to a Center for Ethics that we have at the moment, I would understand it should you honestly feel I no longer have the credibility necessary for the good name of the Center.

“I have humbly attached for your kind attention the statement of my husband. In a way it’s our joint statement since a part of what was recounted there happened when I was there. While I informed him that I would send you a copy of his statement, I did not tell him anymore of this emotional transmittal letter from me, which I will also copy furnish him.

“I only wish good things for Mr. Lozada and the rest of us.

“Yours sincerely,

“(Signed) Mrs. Maribel R. Gaite”

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19 Responses

  1. BrianB says:

    Friends and family vouching for a good man? Not as convincing to me. There are a lot of good men with unethical tendencies. They are not necessarily corrupt or greedy but they do unethical things.

    The nuns and brothers were not acting unethically. They cannot help it if Lozada disparages Gaite. They do not have the luxury to wait for due process being that Lozada’s life is in danger. Even if this is simply according to Lozada himself, there is only one ethical recourse: to believe that his life is in danger.

    To err on the side of saving a life is ethical. This is what I think.

  2. rom says:

    brianb: you have a very good point there, bri. one cannot expect family to do other than support their own. my beef really has more to do with maribel’s plea for a greater willingness to accept the possibility that lozada is simply tailoring his truths to fit his motives and to exaggerate his plight. from this willingness stems the desire to discover the truth using more objective tools, and not just the impassioned whinings of one man.

    After all, now that Lozada has gotten his sanctuary, and remains in it, what harm can there be in imposing more stringent criteria for determining the truth of what he is saying? His life has, for all intents and purposes been saved. The ethical thing to do now is to find out if he is actually telling the truth.

  3. cvj says:

    Gaite did admit to giving the 500K although he appears to just be a bag man as per Ermita.

  4. mlq3 says:

    i wish they published transcripts of the hearings. whats relevant is that gaite himself, without equivocation, stated to the senate that he and other executive officials had, as their main objective, thwarting lozada’s appearance before the senate, up to and including flouting a perfectly legal arrest warrant.

    the question is not whether gaite is a bad person, but how he should be perceived, based on his own testimony, which admitted he was a leading party in an executive dept. conspiracy aimed at self-protection.

  5. rom says:

    mlq3: i wish they had published those transcripts too – at least then, we’d have more to go on than just jun lozada’s word.

  6. shiro says:

    rom: i’m with you there. else this is really nothing more than “the impassioned whinings of one man.” or may i say, one amazing ham.

    mlq3: i think it is a reasonable request sir. as i’ve been saying in the past few threads, this is hardly the time for emotional, irrational action. i think the people is becoming more aware of how much the administration can twist things around. it is only in incontrovertible evidence that things can finally be nailed down, and even that is not a guarantee.

  7. cvj says:

    But Shiro, ’emotional’ is not necessarily ‘irrational’.

  8. shiro says:

    what would you call this then, now that mike velarde and all of those other yoyos are in the picture? where do you fit Joson’s snap elections bill?

  9. […] the case of Manuel Gaite, his wife has, understandably (and even justifiably) enough pleaded for fairness because of the public criticisms of her husband’s behavior. But we ought to consider how much […]

  10. cvj says:

    Shiro, i happen to agree with the SNAP elections option and i’m not aware of what Mike Velarde is doing. All i’m saying is that a clinical/dispassionate approach is not necessarily the rational one. Sometimes, behaving like a madman is the logical alternative. I’m sure the Palace realizes this as well.

  11. shiro says:

    while i agree with Joson’s snap elections initiative on principle, i have problems accepting a solution from a small-time oligarch who seems to me is just waiting for his turn in the big leagues.

  12. Armel says:

    The problem here is that Gaite serves Gloria and anything that has anything to do with Gloria is dirty. Besides no one can claim innocence of what’s happening in the palace. And a real man of integrity would not stand to serve in a corrupt administration, note the hyatt 10.

    If all it takes to stand down is a letter like that of a wife, then the Gloria or Luli could just as well write one. On the FG’s behalf Gloria’s advisers could even have the letter notarized by some guy attesting the FG’ innocence.

    Besides, as one commentor noted, Gaite did admit to giving the money! Now, how innocent can a man who had served many a president so dumb, if not guilty?

  13. rom says:

    Armel: welcome to the smoking room. My issue is not with Gaite’s innocence or guilt. My issue is with the way the La Sallian brothers – and you, in fact – presume guilt simply on one man’s say-so.

  14. Armel says:

    Hi rom,

    I know what your issue is about, and you are right. I am guilty of presuming guilt. The fact of the matter is though is that the cirsumstances that surround Lozada’s situation and the presidents men’s actions leaves me no alternative but believe this one man’s say so.

    Looky at Ellen Tordesillas blog, Luli has a letter of her own lamenting how unfairly her parents are being treated by public opinion.

    And as far as this Gaite issue unfolds, his wife will drag herself in the mud. She is now undoubtedly a part, if she is not already a willing party, to her husbands involvement in the cover up.

    As the saying goes: You don’t have to be soaking wet to know it’s raining outside.

  15. rom says:

    armel: people who think as you do love that saying so much, but you only know it’s raining outside when you either see it out the window, or if you hear it on the roof. That makes it personal knowledge. You don’t have personal knowledge of the things Lozada’s been talking about. That puts you in a windowless room on the 2nd floor where you can’t see or hear the rain.

  16. Armel says:

    rom, you are right again. Of course, there must be some indication of what is. That is obvious enough. No, I don’t have personal knowledge of what Lozada is talking about, only what I read in the papers, and now what Gloria had admitted to know anomalies in the ZTE deal.

    So, you see it is not a windowless room. Thing is some people are already soaking wet, yet choose to deny what is obvious enough. Look I am not saying that it is good to presume all of the time. But, there are certain things that one follow his/her sense about.

    Let me close this under the water discussion by saying that you are one fair fellow. That, hopefully, you live by what you promote, that you do not presume anything, good luck and may your god bless you.

  17. rom says:

    armel: if your only source is the papers, then your source is polluted, armel. media loves a spectacle and they will give preferential space to stories that fuel spectacle for as long as it is commercially beneficial. as for gloria admitting to having known about anomalies, that’s not entirely accurate.

    the context of her admission was that she had received indications or allegations of fraud. allegations, man. not proof positive.

    Like everyone else, I have presumptions and assumptions (but not miriams or ateneos or lasalles! LOL!) too. but I don’t go around asking for the overthrow of government simply on the basis of those presumptions and assumptions. And I could hope that neither would you.

  18. shiro says:

    ah… but you see, doesn’t the current state of affairs promote a “democratization of competence”? seems to me that GMA is providing an example of how bad you can muck up the government. now everybody thinks they have a better way of doing things…

    if you look at it, that’s what’s giving the power-hungry leeches floating around there the confidence to play their power games…

  19. Mark Joel says:

    In the interest of fuller information , please note that during the Senate investigation with Gaite re: the 500K, Mr. Lozada admitted that the money was not a bribe, an important detail that not one newspaper or radio commentary I’ve heard picked up. Why dont you check the Senate transcript of that day or anybody who was able to watch the whole proceeding. Thanks.

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