Allies of former Philippine leader seek to stop Truth Commission

Allies of former Philippine leader seek to stop Truth Commission

Allies of former Philippine president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Thursday asked the Supreme Court to nullify the creation of a commission that is to probe allegations of graft and corruption against the previous administration dpa reported

Congressman Edcel Lagman and other members of the minority bloc in the House of Representatives said the Truth Commission violated the equal protection clause of the constitution because it only targeted officials in the previous government.

In the 55-page petition, Lagman and colleagues described the Truth Commission as an "enterprise in partisan hostility" engaged in a selective and discriminatory pursuit of truth and justice.

The body, which was created by President Benigno Aquino III last month, is headed by former chief justice Hilario Davide. It was given until December 31, 2012 to complete its mandate.

Among the biggest issues that the commission would be looking into is the 329-million-dollar botched broadband deal between the Arroyo government and the Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE Corp.

 rroyo hastily scrapped the deal a few months after it was signed in 2007 amid accusations of bribery and illegal kickbacks allegedly involving her husband and close allies.

The body is also expected to probe alleged cheating in the May 2004 presidential elections suspected to have been perpetrated by Arroyo and allies to ensure her victory in the polls.

Arroyo, who first came into power in January 2001 by a military-backed mass uprising that ousted then president Joseph Estrada, has denied any wrongdoing during her term.

She is now a member of the House of Representatives and has expressed readiness to cooperate with the Truth Commission

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