- Press Statements
13 July 2010
There is delay in the issuance of the executive fiat creating the projected “Truth Commission” because there is need to ascertain to what extent can the President create a public office like a commission and the parameters of his authority to fund its operation.
Ordinarily, a public office is created and funded by the Congress, although the President’s control of the Executive Department can be used as basis for establishing “commissions” for a limited period.
Moreover, it is crucial to resolve the issue on duplication of functions between a “Truth Commission” and existing offices like the Department of Justice and judicial or quasi-judicial bodies like the constitutionally-mandated Office of the Ombudsman.
These existing agencies are not bound by the findings and recommendations of a “Truth Commission” because these regular bodies determine the filing of cases as well as assess the admissibility and competence of evidence based on their own independent judgment.
There is also the problem that the proceedings in the “Truth Commission” will be used wittingly for conviction by publicity of possible respondents.
Some quarters have also questioned the choice of former Chief Justice Hilario Davide to head the “Truth Commission”.