Caught wind of this in the radio this morning and decided to look it up as soon as I got on the Internet: the wiretapped conversation of Joey de Venecia and Jun Lozada.
Whoever put this out certainly wants to damage the credibility of the ZTE star witnesses. The action may have unintended consequences, however.
Granted that Joey de Venecia and Jun Lozada did have the conversation and were complicit in the corruption, it also shows three other things:
First, it lends credence to Jun Lozada's claim that Abalos said he wiretapped their conversations. Who has that capability? What of other wiretapped conversations?
Second, it supports the figures bandied about since the middle of last year. There's mention of the $130-M kickback. There's also mention of efforts to reduce the amount. Abalos is referred to as the "gatekeeper" of the account.
Third, it points to plans by the Chinese to put up a 16-hectare embassy along Roxas Boulevard. This is not significant of itself, but if this item proves to be true, it indicates the depth of knowledge that Jun Lozada has of these movements.
Of these, the third item is to me the most disturbing. It hints at the extent of these activities and their extranational nature. Together with the "web of corruption" diagram (shown in the print edition of the PDI), it shows that we are caught in China's efforts to expand its sphere of influence within the Philippines, while correspondingly diminishing the United States' own influence.
In other words, we are once more pawns in an international game.
I want to know: how much more does Jun Lozada know? How much of the activities he is aware of crosses the threshhold of treason? Who is involved?