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ERC exec’s kin to lead movement vs corruption

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Veteran journalist Charie Villa has pledged to support government employees who are being pressured by their superiors to engage in corrupt activities.

“(The) Villa family will spearhead the movement to fight corruption from within,” the journalist said in a Facebook post yesterday after receiving messages from government employees seeking her assistance.

“We know there are many honest hardworking dedicated government employees out there. Let’s move to fight corruption,” she added.

Villa earlier announced that they will put up a foundation to support government employees who are being pressured to take part in corrupt activities following the death of her brother, Energy Regulation Commission (ERC) director Francisco Villa Jr.

The ERC official committed suicide last Nov. 9 due to alleged corruption in the agency where he had been employed for more than a decade.

Last week, Villa bared the contents of the suicide notes of her brother, who alleged that he was being pressured to approve contracts without going through the proper bidding process.

President Duterte, who is currently in Peru for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, has ordered ERC officials to resign due to the alleged corrupt activities.

However, ERC officials refused to step down and are seeking a meeting with Duterte, pledging an impartial probe of the allegations made by the deceased official.

The Villa family expressed gratitude to Duterte for looking into the alleged corruption at the ERC.

“We have no comment on the President’s decision over ERC. That’s the President’s prerogative and we the family merely stated what Jun said before he died, that he was being pressured to sign contracts that did not pass through proper procedure,” said Villa, referring to her sibling by his nickname.

She said the family thanked the President for the attention he has given to their tragic loss.

“For those who reject ‘pakisama’ or ‘for the boys’ and are treated as ‘uncommon’ or ‘weird’ just because they stand up for what is right and follow the rules and the law... where do they seek redress? Where can they go?” Villa was quoted as saying by ABS-CBN News.

“Corruption like rust is corrosive. Jun did not want to store up treasures here on Earth, for he is wealthy of the treasures from God,” she added.

Following the announcement, Villa said yesterday that she has received numerous requests for support from employees in a similar situation as that of her brother.

“To all the government employees who are now sending me messages asking for help/assistance from pressures from their corrupt bosses, please hang in there. I am seeking help too,” she said.

CHARIE VILLA

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