MANILA - An official of the Energy Regulatory Commission killed himself after allegedly being pressured to approve procurement contracts and hiring consultants without proper bidding and procedure, his younger sister said Thursday.
Veteran journalist Rosario Sofia "Charie" Villa said her brother, the late ERC Director Francisco Villa Jr, committed suicide inside his house in Paranaque last November 9 due to alleged corruption inside the ERC.
Villa said her brother revealed ERC contracts were executed before the actual bidding process.
"Jun felt he had nowhere to go. Jun was pressured to approve contracts for procurements and hiring consultants without proper bidding and procedure - as bids and awards committee chairman," she said in remarks during the ERC official's "pa-siyam."
"He thought he would lose his job, which was so valuable to him."
Villa said her brother dedicated 13 years of his life in the ERC until he became a director.
"You see he, was taught by our parents to do what is right and to fight for it. He loved his ERC family. But when pressured to 'follow' 'maliit na bagay' which ate the fabric of what he believed in, he couldn't take the pressure. He loved and needed his job. He dedicated 13 years in the ERC and spent 12 hours a day with his colleagues, worked his way up to become director," she said.
Earlier news reports said the ERC official committed suicide by shooting himself inside his home in Merville Park Subdivision, Paranaque City last week. A suicide note was found beside the official's body, police said.
In her remarks, Villa said she is seeking help to establish a foundation "where employees like Jun who felt pressured because he wanted to stand up for what is right, can go to to seek redress from harassment and legal help."
"For those who reject 'pakisama' or 'for the boys' and are treated 'uncommon', 'weird' just because they stand up for what is right and follow the rules and the law... where do they seek redress? Where can they go?" she asked.
She added: "Corruption like rust is corrosive. Jun did not want to store up treasures here on Earth, for he is wealthy of the treasures from God."
Meanwhile, a group in the Philippines is dedicated to addressing those who have suicidal tendencies.
The crisis hotlines of the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation aim to make those individuals feel that someone is ready to listen to them.
These are their hotline numbers:
Information and Crisis Intervention Center
(02) 804-HOPE (4673)
0917-558-HOPE (4673) or (632) 211-4550
0917-852-HOPE (4673) or (632) 964-6876
0917-842-HOPE (4673) or (632) 964-4084
In Touch Crisis Lines:
0917-572-HOPE or (632) 211-1305
(02) 893-7606 (24/7)
(02) 893-7603 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm)
Globe (63917) 800.1123 or (632) 506.7314
Sun (63922) 893.8944 or (632) 346.8776