Sen. Miriam Santiago slams P-Noy’s Truth Commission, calls it a "gross violation of the Constitution"

"A gross violation of the Constitution" is how Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago described Pres. Noynoy Aquino’s Executive Order No. 1 which creates the Truth Commission designed to investigate alleged anomalies during the past administration of former Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, reports Inquirer.net.

"Show me where in the Constitution there is a general provision of [the administration’s] power to create an office. Show me a law passed by Congress that gives you the power to create agencies!" Santiago said on August 2 in a report by ABS-CBNNews.com.

The senator re-elect said, " Executive Order No. 1 is a usurpation of legislative function and we in the legislative branch are bound to oppose that kind of usurpation. Even if I have to go to the Supreme Court with my poor physical health to fight for it." Santiago filed for an indefinite leave of absence in July for health reasons, reports GMANews.tv. Santiago had taken an indefinite leave of absence in the past due to arrhythmia complications.

Instead of issuing the EO, Aquino should have certified as urgent a bill to create the Truth Commission, Santiago said in an Inquirer.net report. She added that the Truth Commission’s function is redundant with that of the Office of the Ombudsman. "Efforts to explain the constitutionality [of the EO] are very sophomoric. In other words, it’s a bunch of amateurs trying to justify what they are doing."

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, however, said the Truth Commission is "within the powers of the President," reports ABS-CBNNews.com. She said it is no different from the Feliciano Commission (investigated the Oakwood mutiny), Melo Commission (media killings) and Mayuga Commission (Hello Garci scandal).

The Truth Commission is not limited to investigating alleged anomalies during the Arroyo administration, presidential legal counsel Ed de Mesa told ANC, as reported by ABS-CBNNews.com. "If [Truth Commission Head and former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr.] wants to conduct investigations on human rights [issues] in the past administration, they can do so."

For more on this story, log on to ABS-CBNNews.com and Inquirer.net.

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