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Word from the Institute - June 2014 By Prof. Nene Pimentel

Manny Mulawan is a name that won’t ring even the largest bell in the minds of most people.

He is a nobody.

But he’s important. Not only because he is a Filipino. But, because he is a human being. And, he now appears to be the subject of arbitrary detention by police authorities in Imus, Cavite on what seems to be trumped up charges of rape.

He is a resident of Cagayan de Oro, and is employed with the Cagayan de Oro Water District.

He was picked up by elements of the police from, Gitagum, a municipality some 30 or so kilometers away from Cagayan de Oro.

The arresting team - from reports - did not coordinate with the city police.

And worst of all, the crime was reportedly committed in Cavite on a day when Mulawan was at work in his office at the COWD.

More to the point, Mulawan claims that he had never been to Cavite in his life.  And by all indications, he could not afford to fly to Cavite, invite a girl to have a good time with him, and then set her up for rape. 

Why, then, is Mulawan in the fix he is complaining against?

Nobody knows for certain just why.

But, there are tell-tale signs that some powerful individuals are behind it all.

The police acted swiftly. Far too fast from how they would ordinarily act.

What, then, gives?

It seems that Mulawan’s problems stem from his whistle-blowing inclinations in connection with his work at the COWD.

Some contracts that apparently some COWD officials and/or contractors had entered into are tainted with corruption.

And Mulawan is said to have showed signs that he was critical of those anomalous contracts, and was threatening to expose them.

It’s tough enough to do what’s  right in one’s job. It’s even harder if one looks at his or her work as demanding also his or her cleansing of the office of corruption.

The latest the Center has heard was that Mulawan’s volunteer lawyers were getting the Imus Cavite Court to set him free.

But, because justice moves ever so slowly in this country, Mulawan is still behind bars.