Statement by the People Management Association
of the Philippines
Whistleblowing and Truth-telling
The allegations of graft and corruption in the
Armed Forces of the Philippines have once again brought to the surface the urgency of boldly pursuing mechanisms to curb systemic
corruption in our country.
The bravery shown by former Commission on Audit
Auditor Heidi Mendoza and former AFP Budget Officer Retired Lieutenant Colonel George Rabusa underscores the critical role
of whistleblowers in the fight against corruption. Whistleblowers not only help curb corrupt practices, they also embolden
other citizens to emulate their example and dispel the notion that integrity in public service is a thing of the past.
However, we are deeply concerned that our existing
legal and social frameworks are inadequate and ineffective in encouraging whistleblowing and protecting whistleblowers. Given
the extent of corruption in the country and the seeming high tolerance for irregularities, there is an urgent and critical
need to ensure that we have a supportive environment that encourages, protects, and rewards whistleblowers. It is important
that those who expose corrupt practices are not penalized for telling the truth and are protected from retaliatory attacks.
We ought to legitimize and make it easy for people to speak out against illegal and irregular transactions.
Simply put, no one will come forward if the
costs of telling the truth far outweigh the benefits; more so if it will imperil the safety and security of the individual
and that of his or her family.
We strongly appeal to the President to certify
the bill that protects and rewards whistleblowers as a priority measure.
We strongly appeal to our legislators to ensure
that the courage and bravery of whistleblowers such as Mendoza and Rabusa are not wasted and that the officials accused of
graft and corruption are persecuted and punished to the full extent of the law.
We call on all our leaders both in the public
and private sectors to help foster a culture that makes truth-telling a legitimate and socially rewarding task. Corruption
thrives when citizens tolerate irregularities and do not report them.
Whistleblowing is an institutionalized practice
in the private sector as part of sound corporate governance; the same must be the norm in the public sector. Our inability
to institutionalize mechanisms to curb graft and corruption effectively has far-reaching implications on our competitiveness
as a nation. Integrity is the bedrock of sound people management and development practices.