‘Truth’ commission illegal, SC rules with finality | Inquirer News

‘Truth’ commission illegal, SC rules with finality

By: - Reporter / @T2TupasINQ
/ 03:04 PM July 26, 2011

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court on Tuesday denied with finality the appeal seeking a reversal of its decision declaring as unconstitutional the creation of the Philippine Truth Commission (PTC) tasked to investigate alleged corruption committed during the administration of former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“The Court denies with finality the motion for reconsideration. No substantial arguments were raised in the MR,” high court spokesman Jose Midas Marquez said.

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However, Marquez said the high court was not totally closing its door on the issue because the government could still file a motion for leave to allow them to file a second motion for reconsideration.

Last year, voting 10-5, the high court voided for being unconstitutional the first executive order issued by President Benigno Aquino III creating the so-called “Philippine Truth Commission” mandated to investigate allegations of graft and corruption during the Arroyo administration.

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Majority of the high court magistrates agreed with the ponencia of Associate Justice Jose Mendoza that EO No. 1 violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution.

In declaring as unconstitutional EO No. 1, the Supreme Court stressed that the presidential issuance did not only violate the constitutional provision on “equal protection clause,” but could also serve as a tool for “vindictiveness and selective retribution.”

The Mendoza ruling concurred by nine other magistrates led by Chief Justice Renato Corona said that the Palace should have included previous administrations under the coverage of the PTC which had originally been given a 29-month deadline to complete its fact finding mission exclusively on the Arroyo administration.

“Not to include past administrations similarly situated constitutes arbitrariness which the equal protection clause cannot sanction. Such discriminating differentiation clearly reverberates to label the commission as a vehicle for vindictiveness and selective retribution,” the majority opinion stressed.

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TAGS: Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Graft and Corruption, Judiciary, Philippine Truth Commission, Supreme Court
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