Senator Grace Poe endorsed the immediate passage of the proposed Whistleblower’s Protection Act to encourage more people to come out undeterred in the light of reports that cops involved in drug slays are seeking protection from the Church.
“We encourage everyone to come out but we also have to have something in place to guarantee their safety. Napakahirap maging whistleblower dito at hindi pa nga natin naipapasa ang Whistleblowers Act,” Poe told reporters.
Several measures are pending in the Senate seeking to protect whistleblowers by setting up a system of rewards and security to them and their families.
Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, said there were police officers who want to turn whistleblowers asked protection from the Catholic Church.
“I hope that the Whistleblowers Act will finally hurdle Congress para talagang may funding for witness protection at mayroon talagang proseso kung paano mapoprotektahan ang mga lalabas,” the legislator added.
The lawmaker said these cops cannot be blamed since they might be afraid to come out in the open and expose alleged irregularities and bear the brunt of retaliation of their superiors.
“Di mo rin sila masisisi na hindi sila lumabas kasi natatakot [sila],” the senator said.
She said claims of the policemen should first be validated.
“It depends on what their testimony will be and if it can be proven na mayroon talaga kasi kahit sino pwedeng lumabas at magsabi na ‘Hindi, inutusan kami.’ Kailangan mapatunayan kung totoo nga yon na hindi naman sila nagde-destabilize lang. Yung mga pulis hindi naman iyan lalabas at isusugal ang kanilang kaligtasan at hanapbuhay kung hindi sila talagang nababagabag,” said Poe.
She earlier welcomed the “willingness” of policemen to speak out about their actual involvement in drug war campaign and lauded the Church in “opening its arms wide to provide sanctuary for them.”
Poe said she is looking forward that the initiative of the police will finally ferret out the truth and serve justice to the victims and their families.