NO ONE noticed them.
Despite being the brother of the now-famous “star witness” Jun Lozada, Arthur Lozada, together with his two children, waited patiently at the backstage of the rally in Makati last February 15, away from the public eye amid growing outrage over corruption in the government.
“Matagal na kaming takot,” Arthur said as he narrated the traumatizing experience his family had to endure after his brother’s “abduction” by government agents at the Manila international airport. “Muntik nang mawala ‘yung kapatid ko sa airport.”
Standing near the entrance of the Enterprise Center, Arthur watched as famous personalities like Bienvenido Lumbera, Fr. Robert Reyes, and Joey de Venecia walked onstage near the statue of Ninoy Aquino at the intersection of Ayala Avenue and Paseo de Roxas, demanding the resignation of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and commending his brother’s courage. None of them acknowledged the presence of Jun’s relatives.
Before Jun came out with his testimony, Arthur said his brother had mentioned the ZTE deal to him, but he ignored it at first. It was only when his brother went missing after arriving from a trip to Hong Kong that he gave it serious thought.
“We were both busy with our careers so ‘di ko masyadong binigyang halaga,” said Arthur. “The fact that they took my brother from the airport means that they are scared, and that my brother knows something of grave importance.”
Arthur constantly keeps in touch with his brother, who was able to seek refuge from the Church, despite the risks involved.
“I told him that if nothing comes out of this (expose), we would be the ones suffering the consequences,” said Arthur, adding that that they may even have to go into hiding.
Arthur’s son Voltaire, a Philosophy graduate of the Faculty of Arts and Letters, expressed disappointment at UST’s slow response to calls for support for his uncle Jun, an engineering alumnus.
“Simply sending prayers” is hardly enough, he said.
“I understand that UST has an essentially religious sector and doesn’t want to meddle in political affairs,” said Voltaire. “However, I hope they see that unless we take concrete action, nothing will happen to our prayers” he added.
Arthur affirmed that his family and relatives support Jun’s actions and are hoping for the best outcome in the expose that has gripped the whole nation. “Lakasan lang niya ang loob niya,” said Arthur. “Nakikita kong nasa likod niya ang bayan.”