Ex-auditor of COA Heidi Mendoza praised by legislators, bishops, media, netizens for testifying in military plunder case
Saksi video: Heidi Mendoza testifies against Carlos Garcia
Heidi Mendoza, former Commission on Audit (COA) auditor, has been praised by different sectors of society since she testified yesterday in the plunder case against former military comptroller Carlos Garcia. According to Inquirer.net, Mendoza led the team that investigated irregularities in military transactions, which then Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo decided to look into in 2004.
Contrary to the government prosecutors’ stand, Mendoza testified at the House of Representatives that there is strong evidence against Garcia, reports Inquirer.net. She said that she and state prosecutors even promised each other they would run naked along the streets of Quezon City if his plunder case was dismissed.
"It is out of my commitment to my responsibility as an auditor, a public auditor, that I need to bring out the truth and bring the report to the people, to whom I am accountable," Mendoza said. The mother of three added, "I fear for my children... I pity them because they should not have been dragged into this." She is now under the witness protection program.
Lawmakers have hailed Mendoza’s actions. Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casiño said, according to Inquirer.net, "You have raised us a notch higher as Filipinos." Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago Tweeted, "I love Heidi Mendoza. I admire her a lot. She must be a very brave woman. We must support her." Inquirer.net also quoted Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, "She is brave and just like (George) Rabusa, she is credible."
Twenty Catholic bishops said in a manifesto of support reported by Inquirer.net, "We are with Heidi Mendoza in speaking out against the abuse of office that impoverishes the people and harms the common good."
Meanwhile, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said, "Based on the court records, we believe that she is a very credible witness who could shed light on the anomalies that happened in the military during the comptrollership of (Major) General Garcia."
Members of the media also praised Mendoza. Investigative journalist Ellen Tordesillas blogged, "As long as there is a Heidi Mendoza, there is hope for the Filipino nation." Former ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs Head Maria Ressa called Mendoza "courageous, articulate and impassioned."
On Twitter, Rock Ed founder Gang Badoy said, "When I grow up I don’t think I can be like Heidi Mendoza, she’s special-but I want to be CAPABLE of protecting people like Heidi Mendoza." Singer-songwriter Jim Paredes Tweeted, "Show support for Heidi Mendoza by using #heidiMendoza when expressing support and make her a trending topic."
For more on this story, log on to Inquirer.net.