PRESIDENT Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III personally defended former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr., saying he is fit to head the Truth Commission tasked at looking into the controversies that hounded the Arroyo administration.

Aquino, in his first press briefing in Malacañang, said he understood the "bias" of former President Joseph Estrada against Davide who administered the oath of office of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

Davide was later appointed by Arroyo as head of the Presidential Commission on Electoral Reforms after he retired from the Supreme Court, and later as Philippine Ambassador to the United Nations.

But Aquino believed that Davide is still impartial despite the previous positions that he served in the Arroyo government, citing he resigned from his position as ambassador when his son decided to run for public office in Cebu under the Liberal Party banner instead of the administration.

He said Davide could also easily refused Aquino's offer if he wanted to.

He added that opposition to appointments is normal but Davide is well qualified and his work had been "cited many times."

Aquino further said that Davide's Commission would only be making recommendations and it would be up to the agencies concerns to follow through on them.

The President has yet to talk to Davide about the creation of the Commission but the former chief justice has already talked to Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. about it.

He said he is hoping that Davide, within a months' time, will finalize the creation of the body.

Chief Justice Renato Corona, in an ambush interview, at the Manila Cathedral, said there is nothing wrong in the setting up of a Truth Commission, citing it is intended to ferret out the truth regarding the various controversies that hounded the Arroyo government.

"It's always a step in the right direction to find out the truth in any presidency, in any administration, in any government. You cannot go wrong in finding out what the truth is. I think our people have the right to know what the truth is," he added. (JMR/sunnex)