I got this information from the Yahoogroup for disabled persons in the Philippines. This is an email of one of the icons of Filipino PWD advocates, Sir Lauro Purcil to Dean Raul Pangalangan of University of the Philippines. He allowed me to repost his email in its entirety.
Dear Dean Raul Pangalangan, my fellows and friends in the sector around the world;
It took me a while behore I decided to post this tragic event. A friend of the sector Robert Colangoy who have been instrumental in gathering documents to prove alleged corruptions, mismanagements and discrimination within the National Vocational Rehabilitation Center (NVRC) and the Rehabilitation Sheltered Workshop (RSW) in Project 4, Quezon City was found dead and with signs of foul play in a cliff in the City of Antipolo.
The reports given to me by several persons who are aware of this tragedy, Robert Colangoy recently had severe exchanges of words against the suspected head of the agency before that event. For several years, our fellows with disabilities in the nVRC and RSW Complex have been sending information to the National Capital Region of the Department of Social Welfare and Development about continuing serious mismanagement, discrimination and irregularities in the agencies, among them are alleged over pricing of the purchase of a vehicle, irregularities in the repairs and renovations of some parts of the edifices in the complex, and oppressive treatments against employees with disabilities and trainees by the head of the agency and other serious misused of funds and resources. Unethical and unbecoming conducts and conflict of interests in some dealings within the agency are among the complaints sent to the NCR, DSWD. However, until the last meeting with the regional heads, participants in the discussion reported that a cover up is now occuring.
Many of the involved fellows with disabilities connect this tragic death of Robert Colangoy to the events in the agency, since he has been instrumental in gathering the needed documents that will prove these irregularities and alleged corruptions.
It should be noted that since the take over of this head in the agency, the number of trainees in the center drastically decreased, which as expected angered the sector. I am bringing out this tragedy in these yahoo groups so as to put in public records just in case another tragedy happens.
I appeal to you Sir, Dean Pangalangan and all my friends in government to please attend to these issues since we have been trying to get the attention of media and the public for years yet to no avail. I am sad to observe that there is no more reason to trust the NCR DSWD heads, for they have known these cases but no satisfactory and credible actions have been done. In fact, I go along with the observations of most those who have been involved in the discussions and negotiations that they were not taking the sector seriously. The cover up suspicion was further supported even in the last meeting of the complainants with disabilities with the Assistant Directors and other heads of the agency.
I am sending these information to our leaders in the global community since we, Filipinos with Disabilities believe that by ourselves government and even media won’t attend to us if we don’t reach out to the world.
Perhaps, the death of our fellow and friend against corruption, Robert Colangoy would serve as a wake up call to government and media to seriously attend to information the sector is bringing out against anomalies in government agencies serving the sector.
I fervently appeal for investigations be done to reports of anomalies coming out from these agencies. I would even go as far as appealing to the incoming administration to organize a Presidential Committee to Review all government agencies serving the sector and find out the facts about the reported anomalies and to find out if these agencies are seriously taking into their programs and practices the mandates of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which the Philippines has ratified for more than two years hence.
I had talked with people who are directly involved in these issues and they would be willing to speak out to people who truly can be trusted to act appropriately on the information they are ready to bring out, together with the documents.
We are not sure who murdered Robert Colangoy, but the people who knew him and his efforts to gather documents to prove the alleged anomalies in the agency can’t help but connect his death to that courageous moves to openly speak out and do his tasks as all government employees pledged to perform through the Oath of Allegiance of all government employees in the Philippines.
I pray that this posting would serve to get your attention and respond to the call of our fellows at the NVRC and RSW. I am in full solidarity with them and I join them in this struggle.
The NVRC is one of the programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). It is one of DSWD’s community-based and center-based programs and services which are designed to make Persons With Disabilities productive members of society. Among the services they offer in NVRC include livelihood and vocational skills training, job placement and community participation in DSWD’s non-residential centers. I remember many of the deaf students who cannot afford to study in well-established schools attend to their special courses.
If foul play indeed happened here, then this is very tragic and requires an outrage from our sector while at the same time, a more cautious and wary about our situations. We must be very careful especially to those of us who are vigilant in exposing these rampant corruptions from the government.
I appeal for the government not to let the death of Mr. Colangoy go to waste. I will blog about the developments of this situation as often as I can in order for those responsible to find his alleged perpetrators and put him behind bars.