MANILA -- Former lawmakers on Friday said the Malacanang-backed “Truth Commission” aimed at putting closure to the issues hurled against the previous government was unnecessary.
President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III said on his inaugural address that he tapped former Chief Justice Hilario Davide to head the commission despite the latter’s perceived closeness to Aquino’s predecessor Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
“It is unnecessary for them to form such commission because it will only lengthen the proceedings. This has nothing to do with the credibility of Davide but more a practical aspect. If we want to put closure to the issues, then file it with the Department of Justice and the Ombudsman. We have these government agencies already. Lalo pa siguro lalabo ang kwento kung meron pang truth commission,” former Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. told reporters at the weekly Balitaan sa Rembrandt Hotel in Quezon City.
On Thursday, Bayan Muna Representative Teodoro “Teddy” Casino filed a 12-page petition with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate the alleged involvement of Arroyo and her allies in the botched National Broadband Network (NBN) deal three years ago.
The proponent also asked the justice department to submit a complaint to the Ombudsman, which earlier cleared Arroyo last May from the graft charges citing presidential immunity.
The former senator pointed out that past governments, including Arroyo have formed bodies that looked into various controversies like human rights violations but nothing productive came out of them.
“Arroyo formed the Melo Commission in 2006 (to investigate extra judicial killings) but what happened to it? The report was not even released until today,” Pimentel said.
Former Senator Francisco “Kit” Tatad, on the other hand, expressed disgust over the appointment of Davide while urging Aquino to leave the thorny issue to independent groups.
“We need to revisit history. Until now, we don’t even know who killed his father Ninoy (Benigno Aquino Jr)? There’s a need to make an independent study that will look into this. Let’s leave it to the academicians. Also, Chief Justice Davide should not be the man there because his appointment to the United Nations before was in violation of the law and the constitution,” he said. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)