COA whistleblower Heidi Mendoza named Woman of Courage

By Atom Araullo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 23 2011 03:46 PM | Updated as of Feb 23 2011 11:46 PM

MANILA, Philippines - For exposing the alleged corruption in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, former Commission on Audit auditor Heidi Mendoza was conferred the Women of Courage Recognition by women's group Gabriela.

She joins the ranks of Clarissa Ocampo and Navy Lt. Nancy Gadian who have also shown exemplary courage in revealing the truth despite the risks.

In her acceptance speech, Mendoza revealed that she was willing to return to government service.

"Hindi naman sa gusto ko, pero kailangan eh. Ayaw na ng pamilya ko, at ayaw ko na rin sana, pero tutuloy ko na rin," she said.

At this stage, however, Mendoza said there aren't any official job offers from the Aquino administration.

Gabriela and the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP) also gave a posthumous recognition to Atty. Mary Jane Arada, a manager of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) in Naga and Cebu who was gunned down with her husband last June 20, 2009 after exposing a multi-million peso scam in the agency.

"Gabriela is grateful that there are still public servants like Heidi and Mary Jane who were brave enough to come out and reveal the truth. These women have more gumption than the military officers who shamelessly and systematically steal from public coffers while a great majority of people are poor and hungry," said Gert Ranjo-Libang, Gabriela Deputy Secretary General, in a statement.