February 1, 2011
QUEZON CITY – The national center of government employees Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE) today expressed support for a former Commission on Audit employee and now witness to the Garcia plea bargain case, Heidi Mendoza, while also expressing outrage over the massive corruption in the AFP.
“We applaud Ms. Mendoza’s courage and determination in daring to expose and condemn anomalous transactions within the Armed Forces of the Philippines. In doing so, she has upheld the dignity of all our fellow rank-and-file employees who are committed to their profession as public servants, despite numerous attempts to corrupt or threaten them. We are one with her when she declared in an interview that not all government employees are thieves, not all Filipinos are afraid to speak out against corruption”. COURAGE National President Ferdinand R. Gaite said.
Gaite added “It is despicable to think that large amounts of money that could have been allocated to social services are instead directed to the AFP’s budget. We also sympathize with the foot soldiers who, like most rank-and-file employees, receive meager wages and whose lives and safety are compromised because the supposed budget for them and the AFP modernization are pilfered by top military officials, apart from the scandalous pabaon that they receive upon retirement.”
The leader also challenged the Aquino administration to support Ms. Mendoza by holding those condemned as criminally liable. “This administration catapulted itself to power through promises of transparency, anti-corruption and good governance. Aquino’s sincerity in living up to his promises will be measured by his firmness in going after those implicated in this case. After all, Heidi Mendoza presented solid proof of irregularities related to managing funds from the United Nations intended to support Filipino troops in peace-keeping missions abroad. We refuse to believe that P-Noy cannot do anything about this. As Chief Executive, it is his responsibility to ensure that the money involved should be returned to the national coffers, and those responsible for pilfering the said funds should be held criminally liable, particularly Gen Garcia, who amassed P303.27 million in ill-gotten wealth while in active service” Gaite declared.
Ferdinand R. Gaite
National President, Courage