Find alternatives to probe Arroyo, Aquino told

Posted By: Chris On:

MANILA, Dec. 9, 2010—Some Catholic bishops called on President Benigno Aquino III to find other means necessary to ensure those behind alleged anomalies in the past administration will be held accountable.

While the constitutionality of the Truth Commission is under debate, a former head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said surely there’s other means to ferret out the truth.

“The government must also find other means to find the truth especially if it has connection to the common good,” said Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo.

According to Lagdameo, probing alleged anomalies during the 9-year term of former President Gloria Arroyo is a “matter of justice” and must be pursued through all possible and legal means.

The church official noted that many are afraid, especially those allied with Arroyo, of the truth body that they will also exert all efforts to “cover up” the truth.

Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes believed the creation of the truth commission might be a good step in bringing necessary closure to the allegations of official wrongdoing and impunity.

“I would have liked it because the idea was good. But then again I’m disappointed with what happened,” said Bastes.

Voting 10-5, the Supreme Court yesterday ruled the Truth Commission, which was formed by Aquino in July, unconstitutional.

The decision prohibits the prosecution of Arroyo and other officials and parties involved in alleged scandals under the past administration.

According to the ruling, the Aquino much trumpeted truth body “violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution” by picking on Arroyo administration.

For Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez, however, Arroyo remains powerful until now that she and her allies “can cover up the truth.”

“But Aquino should not surrender using other means to pursue the truth because he pledged for it that he would go after the alleged corruptions of the past administration,” said Gutierrez.

“Don’t surrender,” the prelate told Aquino. (CBCPNews)

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