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Louis Barok C. Biraogo v. The Philippine Truth Commission of 2010 (G.R. No.

192935, December 7, 2010) Honorable epresentatives !"#el Lagman$ %rlan"o &ua$ o"olfo 'lbano$ an" (imeon )atumanong v. !*e#utive (e#retar+ Pa,uito %#hoa an" )B- (e#retar+ &loren#io 'ba" (G.R. No. 193036, December 7, 2010) &'CT(. At the dawn of h ! adm n !trat on, "re! dent No#no# A$% no ! &ned '(ec%t )e *rder No. 1 e!tab+ !h n& the Philippine Truth Commission of 2010. ,he "h + -- ne ,r%th .omm !! on (",.) ! created to n)e!t &ate re-ort! of &raft and corr%-t on comm tted b# th rd/+e)e+ -%b+ c off cer! and em-+o#ee!, the r co/-r nc -a+!, accom-+ ce! and acce!!or e! d%r n& the adm n !trat on of G+or a 0aca-a&a+ Arro#o *N12, and thereafter to !%bm t t! f nd n& and recommendat on! to the "re! dent, .on&re!! and the *mb%d!man. ,he comm !! on ! e(-ected to f n !h the r n)e!t &at on on or before December 31, 2012. ,here are 5 comm !! oner!, nc+%d n& the cha rman. ,he "h + -- ne ,r%th .omm !! on of 2010 ! !-earheaded b# former .h ef 3%!t ce 4 +ar o Da) de, 3r., wh +e the member! are former 5%-reme .o%rt 3%!t ce! Romeo .a++e6o 3r., R%th Romero, and Ateneo 1aw "rofe!!or! 0enardo G%e)arra and .ar+o! 0ed na 3r. 7are+# a month after the !!%ance of '* No. 1, two ca!e! were f +ed before the 5. a!!a + n& the )a+ d t# and con!t t%t ona+ t# of the !a d '*. ,he f r!t ca!e ! a !-ec a+ c ) + act on for -roh b t on n!t t%ted b# -et t oner 1o% ! 7 rao&o n h ! ca-ac t# a! a c t 8en and ta(-a#er. 7 rao&o a!!a +! '(ec%t )e *rder No. 1 for be n& ) o+at )e of the +e& !+at )e -ower of .on&re!! %nder 5ect on 1, Art c+e 9: of the .on!t t%t on a! t %!%r-! the con!t t%t ona+ a%thor t# of the +e& !+at%re to create a -%b+ c off ce and to a--ro-r ate f%nd! therefor. 7 rao&o ar&%e! that '* No. 1 ! %ncon!t t%t ona+ beca%!e there ! no -ro) ! on n the .on!t t%t on or an# !-ec f c +aw that a%thor 8e! the "re! dent to create a tr%th comm !! on. ,he !econd ca!e ! a !-ec a+ c ) + act on for cert orar and -roh b t on f +ed b# -et t oner! 'dce+ .. 1a&man, Rodo+fo 7. A+bano 3r., 5 meon A. Dat%manon&, and *r+ando 7. ;%a, 5r. (-et t oner!/+e& !+ator!) a! nc%mbent member! of the 4o%!e of Re-re!entat )e!. "et t oner!/1e& !+ator! ar&%e that the !a d *rder ! %ncon!t t%t ona+ beca%!e the creat on of a -%b+ c off ce + e!
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w th n the -ro) nce of .on&re!! and not w th the e(ec%t )e branch of &o)ernment. ,he *5G co%nter! that there ! noth n& e(c+%! )e+# +e& !+at )e abo%t the creat on b# the "re! dent of a fact/f nd n& bod# !%ch a! a tr%th comm !! on. "o nt n& to n%mero%! off ce! created b# -a!t -re! dent!, t ar&%e! that the a%thor t# of the "re! dent to create -%b+ c off ce! w th n the *ff ce of the "re! dent "ro-er ha! +on& been reco&n 8ed. Accord n& to the *5G, the '(ec%t )e, 6%!t + <e the other two branche! of &o)ernment, -o!!e!!e! the nherent a%thor t# to create fact/f nd n& comm ttee! to a!! !t t n the -erformance of t! con!t t%t ona++# mandated f%nct on! and n the e(erc !e of t! adm n !trat )e f%nct on!. ,he *5G a+!o c te! the recent ca!e of 7anda ). 'rm ta, where t wa! he+d that the "re! dent ha! the -ower to reor&an 8e the off ce! and a&enc e! n the e(ec%t )e de-artment n + ne w th h ! con!t t%t ona++# &ranted -ower of contro+ and b# ) rt%e of a )a+ d de+e&at on of the +e& !+at )e -ower to reor&an 8e e(ec%t )e off ce! %nder e( !t n& !tat%te!. ,he *5G conc+%de! that the -ower of contro+ nece!!ar +# nc+%de! the -ower to create off ce!. 1. )oes the #reation of the PTC fall 0ithin the ambit of the po0er to reorgani1e as e*presse" in (e#tion 21 of the evise" '"ministrative Co"e3

No. ,he -ower to reor&an 8e a! e(-re!!ed n 5ect on 31 of the Re) !ed Adm n !trat )e .ode contem-+ate! =reor&an 8at on> a! + m ted b# the fo++ow n& f%nct ona+ and !tr%ct%ra+ + ne!? (1) re!tr%ct%r n& the nterna+ or&an 8at on of the *ff ce of the "re! dent "ro-er b# abo+ !h n&, con!o+ dat n& or mer& n& %n t! thereof or tran!ferr n& f%nct on! from one %n t to another@ (2) tran!ferr n& an# f%nct on %nder the *ff ce of the "re! dent to an# other De-artmentAA&enc# or ) ce )er!a@ or (3) tran!ferr n& an# a&enc# %nder the *ff ce of the "re! dent to an# other De-artmentAA&enc# or ) ce )er!a. .+ear+#, the -ro) ! on refer! to red%ct on of -er!onne+, con!o+ dat on of off ce!, or abo+ t on thereof b# rea!on of econom# or red%ndanc# of f%nct on!. ,he!e -o nt to ! t%at on! where a bod# or an off ce ! a+read# e( !tent b%t a mod f cat on or a+terat on thereof ha! to be effected. ,he creat on of an off ce ! nowhere ment oned, m%ch +e!! en) ! oned n !a d -ro) ! on. Accord n&+#, the an!wer to the $%e!t on ! n the ne&at )e.
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2. -a+ the Presi"ent legall+ #reate the Philippine Truth Commission 4PTC53 6s there a vali" "elegation of po0er from Congress empo0ering the Presi"ent to #reate a publi# offi#e3

2e!. ,he creat on of the ",. f nd! 6%!t f cat on %nder 5ect on 17, Art c+e 9:: of the .on!t t%t on, m-o! n& %-on the "re! dent the d%t# to en!%re that the +aw! are fa thf%++# e(ec%ted. 5ect on 17 read!? 5ect on 17. ,he "re! dent !ha++ ha)e contro+ of a++ the e(ec%t )e de-artment!, b%rea%!, and off ce!. 4e !ha++ en!%re that the +aw! be fa thf%++# e(ec%ted. :ndeed, the '(ec%t )e ! & )en m%ch +eewa# n en!%r n& that o%r +aw! are fa thf%++# e(ec%ted. A! !tated abo)e, the -ower! of the "re! dent are not + m ted to tho!e !-ec f c -ower! %nder the .on!t t%t on. *ne of the reco&n 8ed -ower! of the "re! dent &ranted -%r!%ant to th ! con!t t%t ona++#/mandated d%t# ! the -ower to create ad hoc comm ttee!. ,h ! f+ow! from the ob) o%! need to a!certa n fact! and determ ne f +aw! ha)e been fa thf%++# e(ec%ted. *n the char&e that '(ec%t )e *rder No. 1 tran!&re!!e! the -ower of .on&re!! to a--ro-r ate f%nd! for the o-erat on of a -%b+ c off ce, !%ff ce t to !a# that there w ++ be no a--ro-r at on b%t on+# an a++otment or a++ocat on! of e( !t n& f%nd! a+read# a--ro-r ated. Accord n&+#, there ! no %!%r-at on on the -art of the '(ec%t )e of the -ower of .on&re!! to a--ro-r ate f%nd!. ;%rther, there ! no need to !-ec f# the amo%nt to be earmar<ed for the o-erat on of the comm !! on beca%!e, n the word! of the 5o+ c tor Genera+, =whate)er f%nd! the .on&re!! ha! -ro) ded for the *ff ce of the "re! dent w ++ be the )er# !o%rce of the f%nd! for the comm !! on. 0oreo)er, ! nce the amo%nt that wo%+d be a++ocated to the ",. !ha++ be !%b6ect to e( !t n& a%d t n& r%+e! and re&%+at on!, there ! no m-ro-r et# n the f%nd n&. 2. '##or"ing to petitioners$ !.%. 7o. 1 illegall+ amen"e" the Constitution an" pertinent statutes 0hen it veste" the Truth Commission 0ith ,uasi89u"i#ial po0ers "upli#ating$ if not superse"ing$ those of the %ffi#e of the %mbu"sman #reate"
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un"er the 1:;/ Constitution an" the )epartment of <usti#e #reate" un"er the '"ministrative Co"e of 1:;/. 6s this #orre#t3

No. ;act/f nd n& ! not ad6%d cat on and t cannot be + <ened to the 6%d c a+ f%nct on of a co%rt of 6%!t ce, or e)en a $%a! /6%d c a+ a&enc# or off ce. =.ontrar# to -et t oner!B a--rehen! on, the ",. w ++ not !%--+ant the *mb%d!man or the D*3 or erode the r re!-ect )e -ower!. :f at a++, the n)e!t &at )e f%nct on of the comm !! on w ++ com-+ement tho!e of the two off ce!. A! -o nted o%t b# the 5o+ c tor Genera+, the recommendat on to -ro!ec%te ! b%t a con!e$%ence of the o)era++ ta!< of the comm !! on to cond%ct a fact/f nd n& n)e!t &at on.

,he act%a+ -ro!ec%t on of !%!-ected offender!, m%ch +e!! ad6%d cat on on the mer t! of the char&e! a&a n!t them, ! certa n+# not a f%nct on & )en to the comm !! on. ;%rthermore, the f%nct on of determ n n& -robab+e ca%!e for the f + n& of the a--ro-r ate com-+a nt! before the co%rt! rema n! to be w th the D*3 and the *mb%d!man.

=. Petitioners argue that !.%. 7o. 1 violates the e,ual prote#tion #lause as it sele#tivel+ targets for investigation an" prose#ution offi#ials an" personnel of the previous a"ministration %7L> as it e*#lu"es those of the other a"ministrations$ past an" present$ 0ho ma+ be in"i#table. 're the petitioners #orre#t3

2e!C A+tho%&h the -%r-o!e of the ,r%th .omm !! on fa++! w th n the n)e!t &at )e -ower of the "re! dent, the .o%rt f nd! d ff c%+t# n %-ho+d n& the con!t t%t ona+ t# of '(ec%t )e *rder No. 1 n ) ew of t! a--arent tran!&re!! on of the e$%a+ -rotect on c+a%!e en!hr ned n 5ect on 1, Art c+e ::: (7 ++ of R &ht!) of the 19D7 .on!t t%t on, wh ch read!?

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5ect on 1. No -er!on !ha++ be de-r )ed of + fe, + bert# or -ro-ert# w tho%t d%e -roce!! of +aw, nor !ha++ an#one be den ed the e$%a+ -rotect on of the +aw!.

5%ch c+a!! f cat on, howe)er, to be )a+ d m%!t -a!! the te!t of rea!onab+ene!!. ,he te!t ha! fo%r re$% ! te!? (1) ,he c+a!! f cat on re!t! on !%b!tant a+ d !t nct on!@ (2) :t ! &ermane to the -%r-o!e of the +aw@ (3) :t ! not + m ted to e( !t n& cond t on! on+#@ and (E) :t a--+ e! e$%a++# to a++ member! of the !ame c+a!!.

A--+# n& the!e -rece-t! to th ! ca!e, '(ec%t )e *rder No. 1 !ho%+d be !tr%c< down a! ) o+at )e of the e$%a+ -rotect on c+a%!e. ,he c+ear mandate of the en) ! oned tr%th comm !! on ! to n)e!t &ate and f nd o%t the tr%th =concern n& the re-orted ca!e! of &raft and corr%-t on d%r n& the -re) o%! adm n !trat on> on+#. ,he ntent to ! n&+e o%t the -re) o%! adm n !trat on ! a -+a n and -atent man fe!tat on that the e$%a+ -rotect on c+a%!e ! ndeed ) o+ated.

:n th ! re&ard, t m%!t be borne n m nd that the Arro#o adm n !trat on ! b%t 6%!t a member of a c+a!!, that !, a c+a!! of -a!t adm n !trat on!. :t ! not a c+a!! of t! own. Not to nc+%de -a!t adm n !trat on! ! m +ar+# ! t%ated con!t t%te! arb trar ne!! wh ch the e$%a+ -rotect on c+a%!e cannot !anct on. 5%ch d !cr m nat n& d fferent at on c+ear+# re)erberate! to +abe+ the comm !! on a! a )eh c+e for ) nd ct )ene!! and !e+ect )e retr b%t on. ,ho%&h the *5G en%merate! !e)era+ d fference! between the Arro#o adm n !trat on and other -a!t adm n !trat on!, the!e d !t nct on! are not !%b!tant a+ eno%&h to mer t the re!tr ct on of the n)e!t &at on to the =-re) o%! adm n !trat on> on+#. <?(T6C! '7T%76% C' P6%@( )6((!7T67A %P676%7. :n h ! d !!ent n& o- n on, 3%!t ce .ar- o n! !t! that '* 1B! foc%! on contro)er! e! %nder G+or a 0aca-a&a+/Arro#oB! -re! denc# ! con!t t%t ona+ and rea!onab+e. .ar- o, an Arro#o a--o ntee, !a d that the creat on of the tr%th .omm !! on doe! not, n an# wa#, ) o+ate the e$%a+ -rotect on c+a%!e.
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A+!o, he !tated that '* 1 doe! not + m t the ,r%th .omm !! onB! n)e!t &at on on+# to anoma+ e! %nder the Arro#o -re! denc# beca%!e he can e(-and the bod#B! mandate to that of other -re) o%! adm n !trat on!. ;%rthermore, he added that '* 1 on+# =-r or t 8e!> ba!ed on rea!onab+e &r%nd! and doe! not conf ne the n)e!t &at on of act! of &raft and corr%-t on that ma# ha)e been comm tted d%r n& the -a!t adm n !trat on. ,he a!!oc ate 6%!t ce a+!o ar&%ed that t ! =rea!onab+e> to & )e -r or t# to !%--o!ed anoma+ e! %nder the Arro#o adm n !trat on, ! nce the 0arco! (1965/19D6), Ramo! (1992/199D) and '!trada (199D/2001) -re! denc e! =were a+read# n)e!t &ated b# the r !%cce!!or adm n !trat on!,> wh +e a++ the other -a!t "h + -- ne -re! dent! are a+read# dead. ,he on+# + ) n& "re! dent who!e adm n !trat on ha! not been n)e!t &ated b# t! !%cce!!or adm n !trat on ! "re! dent Arro#oB!. ,h ! a+one ! -roof that the Arro#o adm n !trat on ! not be n& ! n&+ed o%t for n)e!t &at on or -ro!ec%t on. 0oreo)er, 3%!t ce .ar- o !a d that t ! )er# %nfort%nate and ron c that the 5. en banc cho!e to !tr%c< down the ,r%th .omm !! on ! nce the 5%-reme .o%rt t!e+f create! )ar o%! fact/f nd n& comm ttee! to n)e!t &ate anoma+ e! w th n the !co-e of the 6%d c ar#. 4e + <ew !e !a d that the 5.B! dec ! on to tra!h the ,r%th .omm !! on cr%!hed the ho-e! of the +on& !%ffer n& ; + - no -eo-+e for an end to &raft and corr%-t on n &o)ernment. 67T! !(T67A &'CT. ,he ,r%th .omm !! on ! a+!o be n& com-ared to the "re! dent a+ .omm !! on on Good Go)ernment wh ch wa! created b# .or# A$% no. ,he com-ar !on at +ea!t ! that both bod e! !ee< to a!certa n the ! n! of the -re) o%! d !-en!at on. 7%t that ! the be& nn n& and end of the com-ar !on. ;or %n+ <e the ,r%th .omm !! on, the ".GG wa! a +e& !+at )e creat on, created -%r!%ant to '* 1 !!%ed b# then "re! dent .ora8on A$% no when !he wa! e(erc ! n& e(traord nar# -ower! that were both e(ec%t )e and +e& !+at )e n nat%re. ,he ".GG co%+d hence !!%e !%mmon!, order the -rod%ct on of e) dence !!%e wr t! of !e$%e!trat on!, and ca%!e the f + n& of ca!e! n co%rt. ,he d fference + e!, n other word!, w th the fact that the +aw &a)e the ".GG e(traord nar# -ower! wherea! the ,r%th .omm !! on, be n& a mere creat on of the '(ec%t )e, cannot e(erc !e -ower! not de+e&ated to t b# .on&re!!, the +atter n the e(erc !e of t! -o+ c# ma< n& mandate. ,herefore, the "h + -- ne ,r%th .omm !! on, n rea+ t#, ! a tooth+e!! t &er wh ch cannot &o be#ond &ather n& fact!. :t cannot ha)e the -ower! to !!%e !%mmon!, nor w ++ t ha)e the -ower to c te nd ) d%a+! n contem-t. :n tr%th and n fact, the .omm !! on !ho%+d meanwh +e -erform the fact/f nd n& f%nct on that the
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*mb%d!man ha! o-ted not to -erform. F th 0erced ta! G%t erre8 a--o nted -rec !e+# to -rotect the Arro#o!, the ntent on !ho%+d be not to accord the +atter m-%n t#, b%t to en&a&e n fact f nd n& wh +e there ! -ara+#! ! n the *ff ce of the *mb%d!man.

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