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Philippines: Palace Working on Shape of Truth Commission
Source: balita.ph
Source Date: Thursday, July 01, 2010
Country: Philippines
Created: Jul 05, 2010

Malacanang is now drawing up the mandate and parameters of authority of the Truth Commission that will be set up to look into allegations of corruption and abuse of power during the Arroyo administration.

In a press briefing on Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Atty. Edwin Lacierda assured that the commission would not engage in any “witch hunting” activity, saying President Benigno Aquino III has ensured this by appointing “a person with integrity and with impartiality” to lead the agency.

In his inaugural speech, President Aquino said he would create a truth commission that investigates anomalous transactions during the previous administration and named Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. to head the commission.

Lacierda said the commission would investigate and build a case against government officials concerned, not only against the former President, now Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of Pampanga.

“They will collect the evidence, they will make a strong case, as what President Aquino said, enough to warrant conviction and submit it to the Ombudsman,” he said.

Lacierda said the Palace wanted the commission to be thorough in its investigation so as not to give the Ombudsman a chance to say “kulang kayo sa ebidensya” (you don’t have enough evidence).

The Presidential Spokesperson allayed fears that the commission would suffer the same fate as that of other investigating bodies, which had difficulty in getting hold of evidences, much less conviction against public officials allegedly involved in anomalous transactions.

“It’s a matter of political will. We will run after them and we will close all the scandals that happened during the previous administration. There is no closure and we need a closure to move on,” he said in the vernacular.

Once finalized, Lacierda said, a memorandum order will be issued to create the Truth Commission.
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