There is a story going around about how Secretary Ermita was fuming mad at Mike Defensor. The budgeted hush money for a scandal of this scale was P5.0M. And so, the story goes, the envelop was passed from Ed to Mike. But as the money exchanged hands through the bureaucracy, only P50,000 reached the intended recipient — Jun Lozada.

This would be a rather amusing story were it not reflective of the pervasive culture of corruption that Lozada has vividly detailed. It is more than just dysfunctional. It is naked greed abetted by grave abuse of power.

Another facet of this regime’s evil persona is its human rights record, with hundreds of unresolved killings and disappearances. The public couldn’t care less. In their minds, the disappeared are just “communists”. But then, Lozada’s kidnapping drama brought to life an otherwise staid statistic of the disappearances and killings. The whole nation saw how the full force of the state’s resources was mobilized, first — to prevent Lozada from testifying, and later — to cover-up its criminal acts. Brazen and shameless, the snatching of Jun Lozada was carried out with Mafia-like impunity.

I will not belabor the point. By now, GMA apologists will find it untenable to claim that she is the lesser evil. Lozada’s kidnapping and revelation have shattered that myth.

As for the economy, what does it profit the ordinary citizen when the supposed economic gains being trumpeted by this regime are simply lining the pockets of the First Gentleman and his cronies in BILLIONS of pesos? No wonder people are complaining that they can hardly feel the 7% growth.

The Makati Business Club sees the writing on the wall, “this is the beginning of the end” for the Arroyo regime. The Catholic bishops are making a moral call, “this is a time for communal action.” Many other organizations, big and small, are coming out with statements — from support for Lozada, to calls for resignation, and organizing protest actions — from simple candle lighting to full-blown street actions. The momentum is irreversible.

We have suffered long enough from the consequences of our silence. The clarion call for our times is for every citizen to express his outrage in whatever form at every opportunity.

The Black and White Movement gives you three opportunities to register your protest:

1. Log on to our website — www.blacknwhite-movement.com and register your name to declare your support for Jun Lozada.

2. Send text “Sa Totoo Tayo” to 0915-3296830 to be counted. Also, text this message to all of your friends and relatives:

“Kung naniniwala kayo sa sinasabi ni Jun Lozada, text “Sa Totoo Tayo” to 0915-3296830. Visit www.blacknwhite-movement.com for latest count and activities.”

3. And if you’re in Metro Manila, join us on Sunday, February 17, 2008, 10 AM at La Salle Greenhills for a Mass organized by President Cory Aquino and the La Salle brothers in support of Jun Lozada and his family.

The time to act is now. Sa Totoo Tayo. Now na!

God bless,

Enteng

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