Press Release
December 9, 2010


Senator Chiz Escudero today cautioned President Noynoy Aquino's legal team to refrain from issuing sweeping statements against the Supreme Court for striking down the creation of the Truth Commission.

Escudero reacted following the statements separately issued by Solicitor General Jose Anselmo Cadiz and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima after the High Tribunal ruled unconstitutional the creation of the Truth Commission.

Cadiz had told a press conference that the High Court's decision was a payment of gratitude to former President and now Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who appointed 14 of 15 sitting justices.

De Lima, on the other hand, said the High Tribunal's ruling on Executive Order No. 1 creating the Truth Commission showed characteristics of a political decision.

"While I also personally disagree with the decision of the court in striking down the creation of the Truth Commission, I don't think it is right to brand the decision as political in a sweeping manner because statements such as these affect the vote of each justice, disregarding their individual opinion," Escudero said.

Escudero, the Senate representative to the Judicial and Bar Council, said statement branding the Supreme Court's ruling as politically-motivated was uncalled for especially coming from the highest legal officials of the Palace.

"As officers of the court and members of the official legal team, more respect should be accorded to the High Tribunal whether the decision penned is favorable or not to any party. I hope the President's legal team will be more circumspect when issuing statements or personal opinions that may undermine some entities who actually did their job right, like in the case of this EO No. 1 decision," he added.

The senator said the decision to declare the Truth Commission as unconstitutional may be a political function for some, but to say that the entire deliberation was political may not be semantically accurate.

"When said in that context, it unfairly reflects the votes of those who dissented against the decision. Our legal officials should conduct themselves in a more diplomatic way when faced with odds in the exercise of their duties," Escudero said.

Escudero also said that should Malacanang decide to amend the executive order based on the opinion of the Supreme Court, the legal team could just add the letter "s" to the phrase "past administration" in order to widen the scope of the investigation by the Truth Commission and not be misconstrued as a class legislation.

"Since the SC majority upheld the power of the President to create such commission, the legal team can even explain in their motion for reconsideration that the intent of the commission is indeed not only focused on the Arroyo administration but it includes other past administrations before it as well," he said.

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