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SC: Ruling junking Truth Commission based on legal merits, not politics

By Marlon Ramos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 20:31:00 12/07/2010

Filed Under: Judiciary (system of justice), Politics, Graft & Corruption, Government

MANILA, Philippines?The Supreme Court?s decision declaring the creation of the Philippine Truth Commission as unconstitutional was based on merits, the tribunal?s acting spokesperson stressed Tuesday.

Anticipating sharp criticisms from various sectors, Gleo Guerra reiterated that the high court?s ruling was not in any way made to shield former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from prosecution over allegations of corruption during her term.

Since 14 of the 15 magistrates were appointed by Arroyo, Guerra said it was expected for anybody to accuse the tribunal of favoring the former president.

?Whether the court rules for or against, the (members of the) court, except for Justice (Maria Lourdes) Sereno, (are) appointees of (Arroyo),? Guerra said in a news briefing.

While 10 justices appointed by Arroyo voted against President Aquino?s executive order creating the Truth Commission, she pointed out that four other Arroyo appointees dissented with the majority decision.

?This means the justices resolved the case according to what they view as correct based on the law and evidence,? Guerra said

But the militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said the ruling proved the difficulty of making Arroyo and her former allies accountable for various allegations of corruption and human rights violations.

In a statement, Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes said the tribunal?s ruling should prompt the Aquino administration ?to make a more determined effort in going after the former president and her cohorts.?

?It is also a challenge to the various anti-Arroyo groups and personalities to unite and persevere in (running after) the past president,? Reyes said.



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