Solon Tells Truth Commission to Hold Office at Batasan; Offers Own Room if No Space Available (PR)

Press Release
2 August 2010

Kabataan Partylist Representative Raymond Palatino today asked House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte to host the newly-formed Truth Commission tasked to ferret out the truth with regard to the abuses committed by the previous regime.

The youth solon today filed House Resolution 125 recommending the use of available office spaces and conference rooms at the Lower House to serve as office of the Truth Commission and as venue for its public hearings and conferences.

“Hindi na kailangang magpakalayo ng members ng Truth Commission para mangalap ng ebidensiya hinggil sa mga kaso ng katiwalian at korupsyon ng nakaraang adminstrasyon. Nasa Batasan na ang malalaking mga isda,” Palatino said, referring to former President Gloria Arroyo and some of her previous Cabinet members currently holding office at the Lower House as district representatives.

He added: “It would be both convenient and helpful if the Truth Commission is located at the House of Representatives. It can immediately summon the Former President and some of her officials who may have direct participation or valuable knowledge on the crimes committed by the past regime against its people.”

Section 12 of said Executive Order states that “The Commission may avail itself of such office space which may be available in government buildings accessible to the public space after coordination with the department or agencies in control of said building or, if not available, lease such space as it may require from private owners.”
Palatino said he is willing to give his current office at the North Wing of the Batasan Complex to the Truth Commission and return to his cubicle-office at the 3rd floor of the Main Building which he used during the previous Congress.

“Malapit lang ang office ko sa opisina ni Former President Arroyo sa Mitra Building. Hindi na kailangan ng sasakyan, puwedeng-puwedeng lakarin,” he said.

Meanwhile, the youth solon also echoed the calls of human rights organizations to include in the functions of the Truth Commission the investigation of human rights violations such as extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances committed while Arroyo was at the helm of government.

“The grim human rights record of Arroyo must not be relegated to the sidelines. Human rights victims and their families continue to cry for justice and lest these crimes remain unresolved, the cycle of impunity and injustice in this country will not be put to an end,” he said.


Kabataan Party-list Rep. Mong Palatino

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