SENATOR Aquilino Q. Pimentel Jr. urged the justice secretary to immediately start the probe on the corruption cases against officials of the Arroyo administration and not wait for the Truth Commission.

“Justice delayed is justice denied. An existing office with full powers to afford justice by giving way to a still-to-be-formed fact-finding Commission is bad policy,” Pimentel said.

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In an emailed statement, Pimentel said that Secretary Leila De Lima, known for her decisiveness, impartiality, and diligence in investigating violations of civil liberties during her term as chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights, should not dilly dally on charges of anomalies that took place during the previous administration.

“Agencies of the criminal justice system have sat on these cases for an inordinately long time, which made the people lost faith in the dispensation of justice.” Pimentel said.

For instance, the lawmaker said the Department of Justice (DOJ) should now start the investigation of the $329 million national broadband network-ZTE scandal, which Bayan Muna partylist Representative Teodoro Casiño has filed last week.

Pimentel said the DOJ should not feel apprehensive that it may be preempting or encroaching the functions of the “independent” Truth Commission of President Benigno Aquino III.

He said there is no legal obstacle for the DOJ to tackle these cases because such task falls within its scope of responsibilities.

“What is important is for the new government to produce results and to live up to its pledge to render fair and equal justice, especially in corruption cases involving officials of the Arroyo administration that have been whitewashed or put in the freezer by investigation and prosecution agencies,” Pimentel said. (PR)