Wednesday, October 05, 2005

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


The chain of command as a principle of management, both in a military and non-military organization, aims to maintain a smooth flow of communication from top to bottom in the organizational hierarchy and to avoid confusion. or conflict in communications. But when an employee or soldier reports a violation of law, regulations and procedures, waste, and gross misconduct, the chain of command principle does not apply. Failure to report such violations is a ground for disciplinary action.

Former U.S. President John F. Kennedy signed the Federal Whistleblower Act and former President George Herbert Walker Bush signed a similar but stronger Act to enshrine the policy of protecting whistleblowers against reprisal in a legal document.

The Honor Code of the Philippine Military Academy instructs every cadet not to lie, cheat, and steal and not to tolerate violation of the Code.

Speaking from my experience as a member of the Officers Corp of the former U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, I reported my superiors for violations of law and regulations to the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector-General in 1999. My superiors retaliated by downgrading my work performance and demoted me from my supervisory position. I sued then Attorney-General Janet Reno as the defendant under the Federal Whistleblower Protection Act. Before it went into trial by jury, the U.S. Attorney in New York offered to settle my case in 2003 by paying me compensatory and moral damages.

If there’s still a government of law in the Philippines, then former Gen. Francisco Gudani and Lt.Col. Alexander Balutan who both exposed the role of certain military officials in vote-rigging for Gloria Macapagal Arroyo during the presidential elections of 2004, have nothing to worry about. Arroyo’s illegal executive order 464 barring high government officials from appearing in a Congressional hearing without her consent is definitely contrary to the Constitutional principle of checks and balances. .If not, then the sovereign Filipino people need to move fast and change the current government of men into a government of law by using their protector, the Armed Forces of the Philippines whose officers are bound by the Honor Code that forbids lying, cheating, stealing and tolerating violators.



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