A PROFESSOR of the Ateneo Law School agreed to join the Truth Commission, which will investigate the anomalies that hounded the Arroyo administration, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said Tuesday.
De Lima also disclosed that President Benigno Aquino III will likely to appoint lawyer Carlos Medina, executive director of the Ateneo Human Rights Center, as one of the members of the commission, which will be chaired by former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr.
Aside from Davide and Medina, retired SC justice Romeo Callejo Sr. also agreed to be part of the body. De Lima said that it was Davide who recommended Medina to Aquino.
Medina, who teaches Constitutional Law and Human Rights Law at the Ateneo, and International Relations at the Ateneo School of Government, is also a co-convenor of the election watchdog called Legal Network for Truthful Elections (Lente), which has monitored the automated elections last May.
He was also involved in a petition filed in December 2009 at the Supreme Court questioning the validity of former President Arroyo’s Proclamation 1959, placing most areas in Maguindanao under Martial Law, following the November 23, 2009 massacre allegedly perpetrated by members of the Ampatuan clan; and several other controversial issuances of Arroyo such as the Presidential Proclamation 1017, Executive Order 464, and the calibrated preemptive response, among others.
Earlier, she said Davide has started drafting the rules of procedure for the fact-finding body to ensure that it would not usurp judicial functions.
Meanwhile, De Lima also said she is mulling to create a special team of prosecutors that will handle extra-judicial killings that would be filed at the Department of Justice, depending on the recommendation of the fact-finding body.
She pointed out that there are some cases that the commission will not be able to handle, such as the unexplained disappearances and extra-legal executions of some members of militant groups.
She said that creating another commission to handle the killings might only divert attention from the investigations of the Truth Commission.
On the other hand, the proposal of the National Press Club to create a superbody to handle media killings might require the drafting of another executive or administrative order from the President, especially if it will be multi-sectoral. (JCV/Sunnex)