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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, February 17, 2011
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Prayers urged for safety
of two whistleblowers


Truth advocate Sister Mary John Mananzan yesterday called on the public to pray for the safety of George Rabusa and Heidi Mendoza, the whistle-blowers in the alleged plunder of military funds, as they have been receiving death threats.

Mananzan issued the appeal after a lecture on “Spirituality of Power from Control to Compassion” at the St. Scholastica’s Academy in Bacolod City.

She also said that she was justified in signing the impeachment protest against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez after the Supreme Court on Tuesday denied Gutierrez’s petition to declare impeachment actions against her in the House of Representatives unconstitutional.

“I support people like Rodolfo Noel Lozada Jr., whistle-blower of the controversial NBN-ZTE deal, Rabusa, and Mendoza for publicly coming out and bravely revealing the truth,” Mananzan said.

Rabusa had earlier admitted that he used to be a part of the system and did not deny that he received money during his stint as budget officer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and “I lauded him for that,” she added.

Former state auditor Mendoza came out because of her dedication and commitment to the Commission on Audit and revealed the misuse of funds, Mananzan also said.

She related the cause of exposing the truth to the recent decision of the SC on the impeachment complaint against Gutierrez.

Mananzan said Gutierrez is responsible for the failure to investigate the P1-million dinner of former president Gloria Arroyo and her party in New York.

Among the other cases that Gutierrez failed to take actions on was the Mega-Pacific scam linking Arroyo, the fertilizer scam involving Jocelyn “Joc-Joc” Bolante, and lately, the involvement of the Ombudsman in the plea bargaining agreement of Garcia, she added.

“She (Gutierrez) is not doing the things she ought to do, especially in preventing corruption,” Mananzan said.

Meanwhile, Mananzan said she commiserated with the family of former AFP Chief of Staff and Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes on his death but added, “In my honest judgment, his suicide is not to be considered as heroic act.”

“It is a plight of cowardice,” she added.

Mananzan is the chair of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines and the Prioress of the Missionary of Benedictine Sisters in the Philippines. She is also the executive director of Institute of Women’s Studies at St. Scholastica’s College, the chair of the Women’s Crisis Center, and the lifetime honorary chair of Gabriela.*LTG




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