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CHR chief slams Comelec for maltreating whistleblowers 05/30/2010

Sunday, May 30, 2010

CHR chief slams Comelec for maltreating whistleblowers

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) took the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to task yesterday for its treatment of so-called whistleblowers, saying the recent actions of the officials of the poll body on those who recently claimed to have knowledge of election fraud borders on intimidation and harassment.

CHR Chairman Leila de Lima, in a statement, particularly noted the action of Comelec Commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer who raised his voice on two whistleblowers on the overpriced ballot secrecy folders calling them liars. Ferrer also reportedly lost his cool and kicked a chair in front of the two witnesses on the anomaly. 

“The reported incident involving a Comelec Commissioner and two whistleblowers, wherein the former allegedly pointed repeatedly his fingers at the latter and kicked a chair, llegedly provoking a fistfight, must not be countenanced,” CHR chairman Leila de Lima said.

“That incident must be duly investigated. There are legal remedies against false, malicious or libelous claims, if at all, which, however, exclude maltreatment of the whistleblowers. There are proper ways to refute the claims, or counter-act the moves, of whistleblowers other than intimidating or harassing them,” she added.

Instead of blowing his top, De Lima said the Ferrer should have given the witnesses an assurance that what they have revealed would be duly investigated.

She said whistleblowers are a rare breed of individuals. “Many other people would simply choose to turn a blind eye to an anomaly, so as not to jeopardize their careers, their ambitions, their personal security and the safety of their loved ones. Whistleblowers, on the other hand, see graft and corruption, illegal activity and human rights abuses, and despite the huge personal cost involved, choose to make public these anomalies for the greater good,” she said.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100530hed5.html


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