Palace confident of legal premises of Truth Commission

August 4, 2010 10:51 am 

MANILA, Aug. 3 — Malacañang is firm that the creation of the Truth Commission is well within the power of the Executive Department — those who say otherwise could raise any case before the Supreme Court to challenge its constitutionality.

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda on Tuesday said in a press briefing that opposition to the creation of the Truth Commission has been anticipated, but the administration is not bothered since the creation of the independent probe body falls under the Administrative Code of 1987.

Earlier today Justice Secretary Leila de Lima also expressed confidence that the formation of the Commission has sound legal premises, that include the legal points that were used to justify past decisions of the Executive branch in creating investigative bodies such as the Agrava Commission, the Melo Commission, and the Feliciano Commission.

“We believe that executive branch is well in its power to create the Truth Commission” Lacierda said in reaction to reports that members of the minority bloc in the House of Representatives will file cases before the High Tribunal challenging the constitutionality of the Truth Commission and its possible duplication of the mandate of the Office of the Ombudsman, a constitutional body.

Lacierda also said that the Truth Commission was established as a separate and independent body so as to avoid accusations of impartiality.

“Minabuti ni Presidente Aquino na magtayo ng Truth Commission para walang mag-aakusa sa kanya na siya ay isang bengadosong Pangulo (President Aquino deemed it proper to create the Truth Commission to avoid possible criticisms that he is vindictive), ” Lacierda said.

Lacierda said the Aquino administration has full trust and confidence in the Supreme Court despite the fact that most of its members are appointees of the previous administration.

“We have to trust the institution of the Supreme Court, they are the final arbiter, and I’m sure that they will be ruling on the case based on the merits of the executive order and not because they were appointed by the former president.” (PNA)

RMA/OPS/ssc

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