Friday, December 10, 2010

Noynoy's Truth Commission will have slowed down an already sluggish justice system

The Supreme Court was probably right in shooting down President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III's pet project, the "Truth Commission". If you are going to define an entire term of office by a "reform" agenda directed against past improprieties, then you should go the whole nine yards. This means covering all cases of such that transpired over the entire period the current Constitution (the legal framework within which the "Truth Commission" will supposedly work) was in effect. That means all cases that came up from 1986 to 2010 as well as all people involved.

More importantly, Noynoy's "Truth Commission" will simply complicate and slow down an already slow process.

Neal Cruz in a recent Inquirer.net piece elaborates:
[...] P-Noy does not need any Truth Commission to prosecute Arroyo and her subordinates. There is the Department of Justice whose duty it is to prosecute wrongdoers. Or doesn’t P-Noy have the confidence that Secretary Leila de Lima can do the job quickly?

Note in Figure 1 below how, under the normal process, there are already existing institutional systems and procedures that do not prejudice on the basis of political affiliations with which the State delivers justice.



Cruz continues...
In fact, I think a Truth Commission will do the job even more slowly. Its findings will only be recommendatory. The DoJ will have to hold new hearings to follow due process completely. Only after which it can file charges and begin prosecuting the accused. All of that takes time.

Noynoy's "Truth Commission" not only makes these systems and procedures more onerous, it discriminates one subset of cases and undermines the fundamental law-applies-to-ALL principle that modern societies live by. This is illustrated in Figure 2 below.



Indeed, Cruz puts it quite succinctly (my boldface for emphasis)...
[...] the Truth Commission could indeed be a violation of the equal protection clause of the Constitution. To the layman, what the Court is saying is: Why treat Arroyo and her officials differently from other Filipinos?

Ramon Tulfo agrees...
The other former presidents and those who served under them should also have been included in the ambit of the Truth Commission.

Senator Miriam Santiago was right. Noynoy's people are a bunch of lightweights. And this most recent of gaffes sheds light specifically on the astounding incompetence of his lawyers. And that's not a good thing for a President leading a society infested by lawyers.

There's a Filipino term for it: atat. Noynoy exhibited this childish trait in pushing for the centrepiece of his ha-ha campaign.

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