Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Lenten Rant

Lenten Rant

Man booed, punched, forced to leave

A MAN was booed, forced to go out of the University of San Carlos gymnasium and was punched by an unidentified person who also held his crotch while the forum with Senate witness Rodolfo Lozada, Jr. was ongoing yesterday.

“Po” asked Lozada why the issue on the national broadband network (NBN) deal has not been brought to the courts.

Some people in the audience booed him, and the booing only stopped when another participant stood up to ask another question to Lozada.

The tension erupted again, however, when Lourdes Barcenas, wife of former Integrated Bar of the Philippines Cebu City chapter president Democrito Barcenas, confronted “Po,” who was at the back talking with Raddy Diola, brother of Dilaab’s coordinating steward Fr. Carmelo Diola.

Lourdes pointed a finger at “Po” and said he does not belong in the forum.

“Po” shrugged his shoulders and raised his arms while answering and was booed again as male participants of the forum started to flock around him.

To ease the tension, Aaron Pedrosa of Sanlakas advised “Po” to leave the gym temporarily, which he did, guided by Diola and accompanied by some of the forum participants to the corridor outside the USC school gym.

But “Po” decided to leave the USC campus altogether and answered reporters questions only when he was on the sidewalk along Sanciangko St.

Along the way, someone punched him once on his side and held his crotch.

“It’s not even supposed to be tense. These tours are causing tension and this is actually the proof of it,” said “Po,” who refused to give his full name because “it’s not even important.”

He described himself as not belonging to any organization and that while he stopped his schooling to work, he continued being vigilant on social issues by reading the newspapers and watching the news.

“I’m not saying that what they are saying in there is false. All I want to say is that if we are in search for the truth, we should entertain everybody from both sides,” he said.

He added that when he learned that Lozada is coming over for an open forum, he grabbed the opportunity to ask the witness as part of his search for truth.

“My question was basically simple. Everybody has been asking this same question. Why are they not taking the issue to the court? The Senate inquiry, while it is very visible, cannot condemn and cannot acquit anybody whether they are guilty or not,” he said.

He was surprised that the participants in the event reacted because he thought the forum was open to the public.

“What did they do? They slapped me and got my crotch, man. Somebody threatened to punch me. I respect them but I believe I should be respected, too,” he said, his lips quivering.

Witnesses however said “Po” was actually punched, not slapped, like what he thought.

“Po” finally left the place, guided by Diola, when some participants passed him as they exited the Sanciangko gate of the university after the forum ended.

They threw negative remarks at “Po” when they saw him.

Diola said he accompanied Po because he pitied him.

Pedrosa explained that the incident happened because Po extended the two minutes allotted per question even when the audience wanted to listen to Lozada.

“In situations like this, people, like Madam Barcenas, were offended by his gestures. Let us respect the rules. I tried to explain that to him but it seems like he wouldn’t listen,” said Pedrosa. (NRC)



Yeah right. So much for open forum. Open forum for them is praising Jun Lozada, laughing at his jokes, asking him questions that will make him more of a hero, and posing beside Lozada for a picture. Sheesh.

Why do you think they acted this way? It's because reality bites -- they do not have documents to support Lozada's claim to go the courts. All of Lozada's allegations remains baseless. And if they are saying that the guy has used up the 2 minutes alloted to his questions, does that give them the right to throw the guy outside the forum? And if they were offended by the guy's gestures, does that mean that booing and punching someone are proper decorum?

Before this, B&W Movement Co Convenor Leah Navarro called Cardinal Vidal a puppet of PGMA because no priest agreed to officiate the mass for truth for Jun Lozada in Cebu. How brave of this has-been singer to disrespect a Cardinal just because of a Jun Lozada who did nothing but throw baseless accusations and cry in front of public for sympathy?

Do they always think this way? If something wrong comes their way, they blame the government? Is it not possible that all priests are busy because of the Lenten Season? Is it not possible that some people are losing faith in Jun Lozada? Does losing faith in him means that they are a 'tuta' of the government?

It seems to me that freedom of speech is only for them, those who are against the government. When you against them, you are either a 'tuta' or a puppet of Arroyo. Don't they know that there is this thing called being neutral? If they don't, it means that they, Leah Navarro and Cory Aquino among others, are also a 'tuta' or puppet of Lozada.

For me, Lozada is starting to become an inconsistent heel. He cries for his safety at first and now he is touring around the country enjoying the fame and popularity. He said he will only speak of the ZTE deal and will not discuss anything related to politics but now he is calling for PGMA's resignation and giving his thoughts on People Power.

Jun Lozada could go to anywhere he pleases but they should not condemn those who refuse to listen to his babblings. I can see that his 15-minute of fame will be over soon. And I hope the senate who sees nothing right in the Arroyo government will stop their so-called investigation in the aid of legislation.

Anyway, have a happy holy week. I am stuck in Manila, I think. Enjoy your vacation but don't forget to pray and reflect.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


i respect your position on the Lozada forum in Cebu. Let me clarify some facts.

We invited Lozada to Cebu because local officials including the local Church hierarchy publicly shunned Lozada's visit when news was out that the latter was scheduled to visit Cebu. we paid for his airfare.

that day, only news about 'Po' came out in the media. Lozada's other engagements such as his appearance before the KBP Cebu City chapter forum, inter-faith forum and UP forum, all of which he was merely invited were not spoken of in the same manner that the "Po" incident is portrayed in media.

the fact is, it was apparent that "Po" did not go there merely to ask during the open forum, he went there to make a scene. otherwise he would have followed the two-minute rule and not take five minutes expressing his views. he was supposed to ask a question that's why the moderator called his attention. but he was really stubborn to say the least. people started booing because of that. then when Lozada was about to answer him, he interrupted the latter. that was when he got another booing.

in so many words, he really irked the audience when he suddenly turned his back against the moderator, facing the crowd with outstretched hands as if in surrender.

then he walked towards the back. that was when i asked him to leave because tension was building up. i saw some students running towards him, but just before any untowward incident could happen, i was able to pacify the students.

"Po" left. when i followed him outside he was having a press conference....

aaron pedrosa

5:16 AM  

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