NOYNOY BACKTRACKS ON PROMISE REGARDING TRUTH BODY
Alexander Martin Remollino
On June 29, a day before he was inaugurated as the country’s 15th president, Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III announced his plan to create a truth commission that would investigate corruption and human rights violations under the Arroyo regime.
“This is the body that I promised the people I will set up to put closure on so many issues,” Aquino told reporters in a press conference that day. He also said the commission “will, as necessary, prepare and prosecute cases to make sure those who committed crimes against the people will be made to pay.”
He said the commission will look into “any and all issues, including extrajudicial killings.”
Human rights group Karapatan documented more than 1,200 extrajudicial killings and over 200 enforced disappearances under the nine-year Arroyo administration. Arroyo’s implementation of Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL) – a US-directed counter-“insurgency” program which targeted unarmed activists and ordinary citizens for “neutralization” purportedly to destroy the “political infrastructure” of the underground Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front of the Philippines (CPP-NPA-NDFP) – is blamed for the killings and disappearances.
Aquino named beforehand Hilario Davide Jr., a former Supreme Court chief justice who campaigned for him in the last elections, to head the commission.
On July 30, he signed Executive Order No. 1, creating the Philippine Truth Commission of 2010 and outlining the scope of its work.
Human rights violations are conspicuously absent from its coverage... READ FULL ARTICLE