Badge of honor


When I filed a request with the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas for a required clearance, I was told it would take a little while before the same could be issued. The reason? A records check on its database showed that my name was listed as a respondent in a number of pending cases. Each and every case would have to be verified to know its exact status, an employee said. How many cases have been filed against me and still pending?

It took about a week before the anti-graft agency issued the certification. And when I looked at it, I felt proud. That’s because the only case pending (the others were dismissed) was a 2003 complaint filed by Augusto L. Syjuco, Jr.

I felt proud because the complainant is the symbol of the unmitigated plunder and greed during the Arroyo administration. Syjuco is perhaps the most notorious public official to have set foot in government, starting from when he was still in his first two terms of congressman, and then as director general of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). Syjuco’s corruption is shamefully legendary. A quick search of YouTube would list several documentaries about the magnitude of his corruption.

I felt proud because the clearance was being submitted to the Office of the President through TESDA secretary Joel Villanueva. Certainly, the irony of the information will not escape the national leadership. I was a target of harassment of Syjuco, whose corrupt deals have not yet fully uncovered. What has come to the surface so far are sufficient to shock the ordinary individual with a sense of decency and uprightness. I said to myself, this information will be counted in my favor. Instead of a minus factor, it will be regarded as a plus factor.

Indeed, it was a tough battle I fought to expose the corruption of Syjuco while he was congressman and then TESDA head. I feel confident I will be given a better opportunity to dig deeper into his corruption and help prosecute this man who stole the future of tens of thousands of young Filipinos with what he did at TESDA.

That Ombudsman certification listing Syjuco as my accuser will be a badge of honor I will wear when I rejoin public service under the Aquino administration.

About Manuel "Boy" Mejorada
Manuel "Boy" Mejorada is a journalist and social media activist. A former Iloilo provincial administrator, he is now waging a crusade against corruption and narco-politics.

One Response to Badge of honor

  1. Roderick Espinosa says:

    im just a meager TESDA employee, was also kicked out to a far place away from my family in leganes just because i wont kneel… come january 2011 my hardship will begin.

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