Philippines high court rules 'truth commission' unconstitutional Andrea Bottorff at 11:06 AM ET
[JURIST] The Supreme Court of the Philippines [official website] on Tuesday ruled [judgment text] that a proposed "truth commission" created to investigate former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] is unconstitutional. President Benigno Aquino [BBC profile] set up the "truth commission" in July to investigate allegations that the outgoing administration engaged in corruption and rights violations, like rigging the 2004 presidential election, misusing government funds and profiting from government contracts. The court held that the "truth commission" violates equal protection by attacking only certain political individuals suspected of corruption. Critics of the court's decision argue that most of the justices were appointed by Arroyo and may still be loyal [Philippine Daily Inquirer report] to the previous regime. Justice Secretary Leila De Lima criticized the ruling [press release] as "a setback in the campaign against graft and corruption." The government has 15 days to appeal the decision.
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