By Mortz C. Ortigoza
DAGUPAN CITY – The private prosecutor against incarcerated pork barrel queen Janet Napoles slammed the Witness Protection Program as defective.
Lawyer Levi Baligodsaid cited that the WPP protects the security of the witnesses only but could not protect him through outside influences.
“Ibig sabihin tinatago mo iyong witness pero iyong witness is still susceptible to influences. May nakikita akong mga witnesses na nagbabakasyon sa Tagaytay, nasa ilalim iyan ng WPP. At habang nagbabakasyon sila may mga ibang tao na kausap sila”.
He lamented too that the monthly allowance given to the witness is measly and too limited for his needs compared to when he or she was working as professional before he or she availed the program.
“Hindi kalakihan,” he deplored.
Attorney Baligod ,who filed a plunder case against Napoles on the P10 billion embezzlement cases, was here as guest speaker of United Philippines Against Corruption ( UPAC).
UPAC is a newly formed organization of anti-corruption advocates that aims to promote the discussion of the issues of corruption, on all levels of the government, most especially at the local government units, among the young students and the academe.
Baligod exhorted students that they can contribute to mitigate the evils of corruption by reporting to proper government offices potholes on the street and shenanigans of barangay captain, mayor, governor, and those higher positioned public officials.
“Dahil ang theoria ko diyan kahit napakaraming noong batas natin to fight corruption, kahit napakaraming institutions natin na labanan ang corruption kagaya ng Ombudsman, Sandiganbayan walang mangyayari diyan kung hindi makialam ang taong bayan,” he stressed.
When asked that many people are lukewarm to expose law breakers because they fear physical and financial harms, he said it is the risk every citizen plays in a democracy.
“That’s the price we have to play in a democracy”.
Aside from the pronouncements of Baligod and Rodney Lawrence Macaraeg, head of UPAC, against corruption to the students of Lyceum Northwestern University, the students were treated with a video show of the Senate Blue Ribbon’s Subcommittee hearing on the billion of pesos alleged anomalies of Vice President Jejomar Binay.
The briefer of UPAC called the Vice President as the poster boy of corruption in the Philippines.
(You can read my selected columns at http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too firstname.lastname@example.org).