With new Ombudsman, who needs Truth body?Marlon Ramos, Norman Bordadora, Philippine Daily Inquirer
President Benigno Aquino III and his justice secretary are confident they have an ace in retired Supreme Court justice Conchita Carpio-Morales at the Ombudsman’s Office that they are no longer interested in further arguing the legality of the truth commission before the Supreme Court.
With Mr. Aquino’s appointment of Morales, the government now has enough legal arsenal to pursue the investigation of the alleged corruption in the previous Arroyo administration, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said Wednesday.
De Lima said she saw no reason for Malacañang to seek a reversal of the high court’s decision declaring as unconstitutional Mr. Aquino’s Executive Order No. 1 creating the truth commission to look into the alleged corruption of his predecessor, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
No longer needed
She said for practical purposes, there was no longer any need for a truth commission, “because we now have a new Ombudsman, we are hoping for the best, for the Office of the Ombudsman to really faithfully discharge its mandate this time”.
Mr. Aquino was of the same mind yesterday, saying he accepted the verdict handed down by the high court on his truth commission.
“It is not necessary that it has to be the truth commission,” he said.
“We now have confidence that the Ombudsman will be doing the function for which the office was set up,” the President said.
He said he was more interested in justice being served in relation to the Arroyo administration.
He said it would be up to Morales to now take over the data and evidence that the commission had gathered before it was struck down by the high court.
Morales was sworn in Wednesday in Malacañang. Mr. Aquino had announced her appointment during his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday.
The former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, who was pressured into resigning earlier this year after she was impeached by the House, was seen as an obstacle to the successful prosecution of Arroyo.