Put truth body under DOJ, prelate reiterates

Posted By: Chris Costuya On:

MANILA, Dec. 8, 2010— If President Aquino is serious in prosecuting alleged graft cases of the past administration, he would place the Truth Commission under the Department of Justice, a church official said.

Retired Catholic Archbishop Oscar Cruz said the commission can do better under Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

In doing so, he said, the government would negate the need for further legislation and provide access to existing facilities and powers.

“Since the very beginning I’ve always said that the so called truth commission should be placed under the DOJ with a staff function,” Cruz said.

But the prelate also suggested that the commission should also investigate alleged anomalies of the past administrations aside from the 9-year term of former President Arroyo.

“It must be clear that the Truth Commission will not only be after the prime suspect in the former administration anybody who is accused of capital graft and corruption,” said Cruz.

After Aquino formally formed it in July, the Supreme Court, voting 10 to 5, yesterday decided that the Truth Commission, headed by former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr., is unconstitutional.

He said the commission should have been busy doing its work now had it been integrated as line function of the Justice Department.

Not only that it would be readily operational according to law, the prelate said it would also “give it a teeth.”

“When it was first announced that the President would like to up a so-called Truth Commission, there were already voices raised against it. For one thing, there’s the DOJ that can serve the purpose,” he added.

“Speaking concretely about the fiasco, it is becoming clearer that the President is in dire need of more capable advisers and the competence of advisers is not measured by mere friendship and political debts,” said Cruz. (CBCPNews)

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