Razon, Malacañang et al caught lying through their teeth

The families of victims of enforced disappearance today commiserates with surfaced ZTE scandal witness Rodolfo Lozada Jr. and urge him to be strong enough to tell his story, and prove how the Arroyo regime and its cohorts lied through their teeth.

“We commend Mr. Lozada for taking courage to tell the truth in spite of what he and his family had gone through in the hands of state security agents,” said Mary Guy Portajada, spokesperson of the Families of Desaparecidos for Justice or Desaparecidos. “He may not be like other abduction victims who are activists and had been branded as ‘terrorists’, but he, too was targeted to be silenced by government agents because he was a witness to the Arroyo regime’s corruption,” she added.

Portajada said that Philippine National Police Chief Avelino Razon, Jr’s line about Lozada “requesting protection” is the same lie the police gives when they surface abduction victims after days of interrogation, torture and incommunicado detention.

“It’s the standard line of the PNP and AFP in order to evade accountability on the human rights violations they committed. They force the victim to sign waivers, write ‘request letters,’ to mouth their lines and claim that the victims were ‘treated well’,” Portajada said. In many cases, the PNP would not even inform the victim’s family that they have custody, or would even refuse to let the victim be visited by his/her family. Some of the victims would be too scared for their lives and that of their family that they would actually refuse to leave police or army custody.

“Truly, the Lozada abduction shows to the public that this regime has no compunction in violating the human rights of the people. If a rich and powerful person like Mr. Lozada can be made to disappear in such brazen fashion, in the airport, then how much more the ordinary people and persons this regime labels as “terrorists,” “destabilizers,” or “enemies of the state,” Portajada added.

Portajada said that state security forces had abducted many other victims with the same brazenness, with the abductors even using fake names to dodge responsibility. Under the Arroyo regime, a total of 177 victims were abducted and are still missing. ##