Speed up witness protection bills okay — lawmaker

February 24, 2020

A MILITANT solon is appealing to his colleagues in the House of Representatives to expedite the passage of the twin bills on whistleblower protection.

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate said that whistleblowers should be given all the security they need as witnesses in judicial proceedings.

Pending for approval are House Bill 4387 and House Bill 4388 both filed by Zarate aimed at encouraging more witnesses and whistleblowers to come forward to expose crime and corruption.

Zarate made the call following reports that Immigration officer Allison “Alex” Chiong has been receiving death threats after he revealed that some Chinese nationals are allegedly paying immigration officers to have a smooth entry in the Philippines.

“It is sad that one of the witnesses on the ‘GCTA scam’ got cold feet and backed out, while another was killed, but with the enactment of HB 4387 and 4388, there would be a whole new mechanism for their safety among others,”  the progressive solon said.

The bill intends to encourage other whistleblowers to come out and expose other cases of graft and corruption and other crimes and offenses committed especially by government officials and employees.

If enacted the bills would also prevent double standards and special treatment as well as penalize false witnesses and whistleblowers.

“If the Duterte administration is truly sincere in its corruption drive and is sincerely looking for the truth then it would certify these bills as urgent and move for their immediate approval,” Zarate said.