The Philippine Navy has ordered whistleblower Lieutenant Nancy Gadian to appear before the military within 48 hours. Lt. Gadian courageously blew the whistle on misuse of funds from the joint US-Phillipine Balikatan military exercises spurring a Philippine Navy probe into the alleged misuse of the funding. However, instead of praising Lt. Gadian for her actions, the military has turned her into a target.
Now the navy is accusing Lt. Gadian of desertion from the military, false declaration and misuse of funding, extravagant expenditures and, refusal to appear before the investigating committee. Despite facing these allegations and threats from the military, Lt. Gadian has not backed down. She continues to deny the accusations of lavish spending and asserts that she filed her resignation on April 16th. Three witnesses have supported Gadian’s declaration regarding the misuse of funding.
Members of the Phillippine Senate have called on the government to protect Lt. Gadian and investigate her claims. On May 17, Senate Loren Legarda called on the government to ensure the safety of Nancy Gadian. One week ago, Senator Rodolfo Biazon, Chairman of the Senate Committee of National Defense and Security declared his support to conduct an inquiry if Gadian cooperates with the Committee. However, the Navy’s48 hour time limit for Lt. Gadian expires on May 22. If she does not show up, the military will “enforce what the military regulations and rule says,” Navy spokesman Lt Col. Edgard Arevalo said.
We are not sure what is Nancy Gadian’s destiny is as another whistleblower in this global society. In her article on Filipino whistleblowers, Ninez Cacho-Olivares notes that historically, whistleblowers have either been “charged for some crime and arrested or their reputations are destroyed.” We hope the Philippine Government will support accountability and ensure that Lt. Nancy Gadian does not meet the same fate as these whistleblowers.
Philippines Whistleblowing System
International Program of the National Whistleblowers Center
Mendez, Christina, “Secure whistleblower in Balikatan exercises fund scam,” Philstar, May 17th, 2009.
“Navy gives whistleblower 48 hours to surrender,” GMA News.TV, May 20, 2009.
Olivares, Nines Cacho, “Fate of Whistleblowers.” The Daily Tribune, May 18th, 2009.
See, Aie Balagtas, “Group rallies behind Gadian – 'the woman who has balls',” GMA News. TV, May 15th, 2009.
Solmerin, Zaff, “Navy Chief warns Gadian vs. testifying in Congress, Business Mirror, May 18th, 2009.
Uy, Jocelyn, “Balikatan Whistleblower risks losing benefit, Philippine Daily Inquirer, May 17th, 2009.