Truth Commission Criticized as Limited, Toothless

He said a resolution signed and approved by Congress could aid the Truth Commission to penalize those who will not attend its invitation. “Aquino can ask the legislative and the judiciary to sign a resolution penalizing those who will ignore the Truth Commission’s invitation,” said Colmenares.

The CPP also noted that the commission does not have real subpoena powers, cannot prosecute and is only limited to investigating cases.

Colmenares said the commission should have human rights advocates or victims of violations of human rights or relatives of victims as its members. He said the appointment of Associate Justice Hilario Davide as head of the commission compromises its credibility.

“The head of the commission should have absolutely no relation or debt of gratitude to the person it will investigate. How can someone who has worked with Arroyo be able to investigate her?” Colmenares said.

Davide was assigned by the Arroyo government as a permanent representative of the Philippine mission to the United Nations. It was also Davide who administered the oath to then vice president Arroyo when former president Joseph Estrada was ousted in 2001.

No Political Will to Pursue Justice

The CPP also said Aquino may end up frustrating the Filipino people. The group said the people have been clamoring for determined and swift prosecution and punishment of the Arroyos not only for a few ‘political impact’ cases but for “a whole range of economic, political and fascist crimes committed by Arroyo and her cohorts.”

“The Filipino people have been clamoring for the prosecution and punishment of the Arroyo and her cohorts for massive fraud committed during the 2004 and 2007 elections, widespread extrajudicial killings and other crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the nine and a half years that it was under her command,” the CPP said.

“It seems that Aquino is turning a deaf ear to the calls for justice of the victims of human rights violations and their relatives,” said Enriquez.

“How can he end impunity when he is not showing political will to the perpetrators and those who ordered these crimes? How is he to stop atrocities against human rights when he is still hell bent on continuing the same militarist counterinsurgency program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, which is the reason for such violations?” asked Enriquez. (

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