BCBP BOT Chairman Bobby Atendido has requested that we post this letter of Ms. Heidi Mendoza on the BCBP website. He says, “I believe we should support Heidi in her quest for the exposition of corruption and upholding truth and honesty. Several years ago she spoke to BCBP Mancom and BOT about this case of Gen. Garcia and even during that time, I already noted her guts and fortitude. She has character.”
LETTER FROM MS HEIDI MENDOZA
Greetings of Peace! In the middle of the raging controversies that our country is facing, one glaring truth cannot simply be ignored. There is a brewing tension between good and evil and I believe now is the time to for a baptized Catholic and a Christian public servant like me to run to my mentors and seek the comfort of the church.
As many of you would know, I accepted the General Garcia case not as another audit engagement sometime in October 2004. It was a result of prayerful discernment and a series of consultation with guardians of my faith. I went beyond the call of duty and closed my eyes to my personal fears, guided by the thought that my heart is in the right place.
The assignment just like any Christian experience is not smooth sailing. There are challenges coming from the very institutions that are supposed to protect the interest of the people. I stood firm though I cannot deny that there were several instances when convictions and beliefs simply failed to sustain me. As history will tell, then, Ombudsman Marcelo resigned, I was left to seek help from my own office the Commission on Audit. The response is again a challenge to ordinary faith. No less than the former Chair convinced me to simply return the documents my team gathered and close the case. “Christ himself failed to save the world so how can ordinary mortals like us dream of succeeding in the fight against corruption when obviously it is a fight between good and evil.”
Perhaps I am not willing to give up my flickering hope and diminishing faith inside that I just decided to quit from a 20 year old job. In March 16, 2006, on the birth of my father who has painstakingly shown me the values of honest and dedicated public service, I filed my resignation.
In October 2007, the state prosecutors handling the case, begged me to help the government and with minor convincing, I agreed. I appeared at Sandiganbayan for more than 16 times and in between those hearing, I felt the absence of the public support which I think is critical to cases such as this. In one instance, in open court hearing, I was astounded when the defense lawyer slapped before my face the copy of the letter of the CoA chair denying the creation of an audit team that took care of the investigation. It’s the biggest test to my faith. No less than the accused told me that I am a liar and that there will be a reckoning day for me.”
It is in this particular time that I sought for a God with His mighty arm that will simply strike the opponents of truth with his blazing sword. At the same time, I sought for the wounded and agonizing face of my savior so I can draw some strength and the passion to go on. I felt so alone that prayers alone are not sufficient to console me, I was then literally reaching to a God whom I can hold, I can touch, I can embrace! He did not deprive me of this longing, when you texted me on that date, I realized that God has gone high tech and invaded the virtual world.
I thought that the challenge was ended, the moment I completed my appearances before the Sandiganbayan. I was wrong. Last March 12, 2010 I personally saw the signed plea bargain agreement but I must admit that I have been weakened by my own experience and already afraid to give up the comfortable life that I have. Still however, I searched my conscience and shared these with few trusted friends. As a consequence of my fear, we now have a seeming triumph of evil versus the truth.
Last December 23, 2010, I filed my resignation from my current employer in response to a conscience call. It is my Christian calling that I cannot ignore that is why I went out of my comfort zone and together with my entire family heed the call to embrace this cause with the same passion when I started it.
I seek your assistance, I am reaching out for help in making a united stand. Sinners as we are, I am confident that God will bless the pure longing of our broken heart if we are willing to make a sacrifice.
The government that we have right now is certainly not perfect, but I think it is the only Government that we have and the government that we deserve. The plea bargain happened during the dark years of the previous administration. Together we need to inform our people, we need to make a united stand.
In ending, let me express my gratitude to the only people I looked up with so much faith and respect. The recent events have shown me that the truth is unveiled not in the brilliant minds of men but only in the hearts of men burning with Love and Faith.
I would like to apologize, if there are any courtesies which I have not observed. I am asking for prayers not only for my family but for the entire country.
Marami pong salamat!