Blowing their whistles in support of former Commission on Audit (COA) Auditor Heidi Mendoza and former military budget officer George Rabusa, members of Akbayan party on Monday staged a creative action to condemn the prevalent corruption inside the Armed forces of the Philippines (AFP) involving the former generals of the previous administration.
Dubbed as the “blow your whistle for the brave whistleblowers”, truth advocates carried “oversized whistles”, noise gadgets and colorful posters at Philcoa, Quezon City where they conducted their “truth action.” They blew and gave away whistles to passersby and motorists to symbolize the people’s support to Mendoza and Rabusa. The group also said their activity is a way of telling the public that the search for truth, justice and accountability is not yet over.
“We give our utmost support to the brave whistleblowers that dared expose the gargantuan corruption inside the military. We laud them for their courageous efforts and as such, Akbayan together with the Filipino people will match it with the same act of bravery not only to expose the truth but also to hold those involved responsible,” former Akbayan representative Risa
Hontiveros said former AFP Major General Carlos Garcia and former AFP Chief of Staff Angelo Reyes “maximized” the fortunes offered by the corrupt Arroyo government.
Like their principal, they are exceptionally supreme in their corrupt ways. Like their president, they lied, cheated and stole. They put self-interest ahead of the public interest. Mana talaga kay Arroyo,” Hontiveros said.
The Akbayan stalwart also frowned on the statements issued by Garcia and Reyes in explaining their involvement in the corruption issue. She described them as “insulting.”
“On one hand, you have a former military comptroller who has the guts to say that he was born ‘filthy rich’ even if he wasn’t to justify his pillage of the people’s coffers. On the other hand, you have a former AFP chief who virtually said that he was not extremely voracious in his corrupt ways. How they manage to sleep at night and socialize with their respective communities is stupefying,” Hontiveros quipped.
Hontiveros also trained her guns at former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo whom she said is “equally accountable” for the corruption inside the military.
“Lest we forget, the allegation of corruption inside the military involving several generals happened during the dark years of the Arroyo administration. Truth is, all of those involved were GMA generals. Being the former commander in chief of the military, Arroyo is equally answerable and must be investigated as well,” Hontiveros said.
The former partylist lawmaker said the Truth Commission set by the Aquino administration must continue with the task of finding the truth behind the numerous scandals the rocked the Arroyo government.
Truth Commission vs. GMA, Impeach Merci
“With the office of the ombudsman and the high tribunal effectively under GMA’s influence coupled with the immunity she enjoys being a congressional representative, no parliamentary investigation and filing of legal cases will make her accountable. The people’s only hope is the truth commission. For the sake of the whistleblowers and the people, we hope the Aquino government will let the commission continue with its job,” Hontiveros said.
Similarly, Hontiveros called on House Committee on Justice Chairperson Rep. Neil Tupas to proceed with the impeachment hearings against Ombudsman Merciditas Gutierrez.
“Gutierrez’s handling of the Garcia case is the final straw. We hope the administration will be decisive in flushing out all the debauched elements inside the government. This impasse cannot be tolerated anymore. This must come to an end,” Hontiveros concluded.
Akbayan said it is currently talking to other reform-oriented groups and social movements in launching series of protest actions in support of the whistleblowers and the pursuit of truth and justice.