May 28, 2010
Whistleblowers are a rare breed of individuals. Many other people would simply choose to turn a blind eye to an anomaly, so as not to jeopardize their careers, their ambitions, their personal security and the safety of their loved ones. Whistleblowers, on the other hand, see graft and corruption, illegal activity and human rights abuses, and despite the huge personal cost involved, choose to make public these anomalies for the greater good.
Whistleblowers and their loved ones must be protected and given safe refuge, as well as the chance to tell their stories. If our society turns a blind eye to their plight and their courage, if our society simply allows the powerful to threaten, intimidate, abduct, injure or worst, kill them, then things will never change. The culture of impunity will prevail, and the morally bankrupt will win.
Bona fide whistleblowers must be protected, and their dignity respected. The reported incident involving a COMELEC Commissioner and two (2) whistleblowers, wherein the former allegedly pointed repeatedly his fingers at the latter and kicked a chair, llegedly provoking a fistfight, must not be countenanced. That incident must be duly investigated. There are legal remedies against false, malicious or libelous claims, if at all, which, however, exclude maltreatment of the whistleblowers. There are proper ways to refute the claims, or counter-act the moves, of whistleblowers other than intimidating or harassing them.
Given these developments, the CHR will call on the next Congress to prioritize the passage of a Whistleblowers Protection Act.