Crime has a new enemy

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By Atty. Taipan Millan

One Small Voice

Friday, February 14, 2014


IT USED to be that we all we had to guard ourselves against were our enemies. Unfortunately for some, but fortunately for most, that time is now gone.

If we have not noticed yet, maybe we should already notice this now. Perhaps, we should already accept this as the new normal, that those who intend to commit the bad, the evil and the criminal, and actually do so, must already begin to guard themselves against, not only their enemies, but also those closest to them.

This cannot be more apparent than in the pork barrel scam.

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We have witnessed a relative though distant turn against a relative though distant. Though distant, they are still and will always be relatives come what may. Still, the relative blew the whistle on the relative.

We have witnessed employees, more than just a couple, actually even more than a dozen, turn against their employer. This employer paid them with salaries that were so much more than what they could ever hope to get elsewhere given their personal circumstances. Still, the employees blew the whistle on the employer.

And, in an unexpected twist of fate, we have now witnessed a family friend, a subordinate or colleague or partner of sorts, and even a political contributor at one or more times, turn against the friend. This is a relationship that took around thirty years to build that they are, or were, almost family already. Still, the friend blew the whistle on the friend.

There are also more reports of more witnesses who might soon turn against their relatives, or employers, or friends. Funny how it sounds, but it is as serious as can be, blowing the whistle is increasingly becoming popular.

Why? We may never get to the bottom of why this, or why that, had to happen. To be sure, there may be a hundred and one reasons or causes or triggers. The point is that these things have happened, and are happening, now.

Those closest to the accused are those who have accused, or are accusing, them.

Sacrifice for love of country? Doubtful, if such is even possible for these kinds of people. Those who blew, or are blowing, the whistle have all admitted guilt. They, of course, have put forward a plethora of excuses, but they are still guilty.

Betrayal for self-preservation? Closer, or maybe even exactly what it is. Those who blew, or are blowing, the whistle have all admitted guilt. They, of course, have put forward a plethora of excuses, but they are still guilty.

For the avoidance of confusion, however, breaking the ties that bind, at least for those involved in the plunder of the money of the people, is admirable. It could never be better. It is beneficial for the public welfare. It is beneficial for the common good. It is beneficial for the national interest.

Without these rats, we may never know who stole the cheese. In fact, even with these rats, we may still not be able to retrieve what was stolen, or catch the thieves, but at least we will now have a crack at conviction through the additional pieces of evidence.

This being the case, we must rush the passage of the law defining, encouraging and protecting whistleblowers or however else they may be described.

We must define who they are in order to include all those who can help build a case and help win the case and exclude all those who may just want to get off the hook when they should never be in the first place.

We must encourage all of them so we can find the truth no matter where it hides and not discourage them through an environment where they would stick their neck out and end up being beheaded.

We must protect all of them so their betrayal, or sacrifice as some would like to put it, will be worth it for them because they know that they will not be digging their own grave but saving their own skin, not just because they go scott-free, but also because they will no longer be in harm's way after their heroic though self-serving act.

We must create an atmosphere where nobody is safe when one intends to commit anything bad, anything evil or anything criminal.

We must create a situation that is so difficult or almost impossible for thieves to steal because even their relatives, employees, friends, or even just acquaintances, can squeal on them and lead them straight to jail.

We must create a scenario that makes anybody and everybody a potential star witness during the investigation, prosecution and litigation of an offense.

There must be apprehension. There must be hesitation. There must be fear.

The stealing can actually be substantially minimized if not totally eradicated by the culture of blowing the whistle. Stealing will have a new nemesis. Crime has a new enemy.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 14, 2014.

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