According to a report from ABS-CBN News, the Supreme Court has dealt “another blow to to President Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III’s administration” by striking down the Truth Commission, a body intended to investigate anomalies that took place during the term of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo:
Voting 10-5, the Supreme Court ruling effectively bars the prosecution of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and other officials and parties involved in alleged scandals under the previous administration.
The 5 who dissented were: Associate Justices Antonio Nachura, Antonio Carpio, Conchita Carpio Morales, Maria Lourdes Sereno, and Roberto Abad dissented.
The high court apparently gave credence to the petition of minority lawmakers led by Rep. Edcel Lagman, who sought to have the executive fiat that created the Truth Commission quashed.
The commission, tasked to investigate the anomalies during the 9-year term of Mrs. Arroyo, was created with too much power that it has already stepped on the rights of constitutionally-created bodies, they had said.
UPDATE (1220H): Updates via the ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) Twitter account cite Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda describing the SC ruling as “unfortunate” during a Malacañang press conference. Lacierda added, however, that it was a “temporary setback” that would not stop the efforts of the Aquino administration toward reform and accountability. He said he was certain that the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) would file a motion for consideration, and that meanwhile other options would be explored. Lacierda personally informed President Aquino of the development through a text message.
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