CBCP urges Congress to pass whistle-blower protection act
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Saturday urged the Congress to pass the Whistle-blower Protection Act amid the administration’s intensified anticorruption campaign.
The statement was issued days after the Sandiganbayan convicted Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada Jr. of graft over an anomalous deal when he was president and chief executive officer of the state-owned Philippine Forest Corp. from 2007 to 2008.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo expressed his alarm over the conviction of Lozada.
Lozada was the whistle-blower over the alleged irregularities in the multimillion National Broadband Network (NBN) contract of the then administration of former President Gloria-Macapagal Arroyo with Chinese firm ZTE Corp.
Arroyo was charged with two counts of graft for approving the deal despite knowing its irregularities and its being disadvantageous to government. She was also accused of having personal gain in the contract.
Apart from Arroyo, her husband, former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, and former Commission on Elections Chair Benjamin Abalos were also charged with graft.
“Walang protection ang nagbubulgar ng mga anomalies kaya dapat mabigyan ng protection kung gusto talagang kalabanin ang corruption. Dapat talagang may pananagutan kasi nakita na nga nating kinansel yung transaction, ibig sabihin talaga may mali nga dun, pero walang pananagutan, walang may kasalanan,” Pabillo said in an interview over Radio Veritas.
The bishop lamented the failure of the government to convict those involved in the anomalous deal.
He expressed fears that the conviction of Lozada may prompt other whistle-blowers to just remain silent.
The CBCP said the administration’s anticorruption drive would be put to waste if the Whistle-blower Protection Act would not be passed into law.
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