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Filipino bishops support whistleblowers

Speak the truth from the heart, they tell officials exposing corruption

Filipino bishops support whistleblowers
Former military comptroller Carlos Garcia appears before a congressional hearing reporter, Manila

February 1, 2011

At least 20 Filipino Catholic bishops signified their support for whistleblowers who revealed alleged corruption in the military.

In a manifesto titled “Speak The Truth From The Heart,” the bishops lauded former government auditor Heidi Mendoza, former Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo, former special prosecutor Dennis Villa-Ignacio and retired Lt. Col. George Rabusa for expressing “lay leadership” in renouncing corruption.

“As bishops, we support and encourage such people. We are with Mendoza in speaking out against abuse of office that impoverishes the people and harm the common good,” said the bishops.

They also called on President Benigno Aquino III and on the graft court Sandiganbayan to do their part in pursuing the truth behind the alleged irregularities.

“We implore his Excellency, Benigno Aquino III, to critically review the decision of the Ombudsman in the plunder charges against [former Armed Forces comptroller Carlos] Garcia,” the bishops said.

“We likewise call on the Sandiganbayan to pursue the case in the interest of transparency and restoration of public trust,” they added.

Garcia, who is facing a 303 million-peso (US$6.9 million) plunder case, entered into a deal with the Ombudsman in December 2010 and pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of bribery and money laundering and agreed to return 135 million pesos. He was allowed to post bail and was temporarily released afterwards.

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