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EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 1c


c
CREATING THE PHILIPPINE TRUTH COMMISSION OF 2010c
c
WHEREAS, Article XI, Section 1 of the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines
solemnly enshrines the principle that a public office is a public trust and
mandates that public officers and employees, who are servants of the people,
must at all times be accountable to the latter, serve them with utmost
responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency, act with patriotism and justice,
and lead modest lives;c
c
WHEREAS, corruption is among the most despicable acts of defiance of
this principle and notorious violation of this mandate;c
c
WHEREAS, corruption is an evil and scourge which seriously affects the
political, economic, and social life of a nation; in a very special way it inflicts
untold misfortune and misery on the poor, the marginalized and underprivileged
sector of society;c
c
WHEREAS, corruption in the Philippines has reached very alarming levels,
and undermined the people¶s trust and confidence in the Government and its
institutions; c
c
WHEREAS, there is an urgent call for the determination of the truth
regarding certain reports of large scale graft and corruption in the government
and to put a closure to them by the filing of the appropriate cases against those
involved, if warranted, and to deter others from committing the evil, restore the
people¶s faith and confidence in the Government and in their public servants;c
c
WHEREAS, the President¶s battlecry during his campaign for the
Presidency in the last elections ³kung walang corrupt, walang mahirapa
expresses a solemn pledge that if elected, he would end corruption and the evil it
breeds;c
c
WHEREAS, there is a need for a separate body dedicated solely to
investigating and finding out the truth concerning the reported cases of graft and
corruption during the previous administration, and which will recommend the
prosecution of the offenders and secure justice for all;c
c
WHEREAS, Book III, Chapter 10, Section 31 of Executive Order No. 292,
otherwise known as the Revised Administrative Code of the Philippines, gives the
President the continuing authority to reorganize the Office of the President.c
c
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BENIGNO SIMEON AQUINO III, President of the
Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do
hereby order:c
c
SECTION 1. Creation of a Commission. ± There is hereby created the
PHILIPPINE TRUTH COMMISSION, hereinafter referred to as the
³COMMISSION,a which shall primarily seek and find the truth on, and toward
this end, investigate reports of graft and corruption of such scale and magnitude
that shock and offend the moral and ethical sensibilities of the people, committed
by public officers and employees, their co-principals, accomplices and accessories
from the private sector, if any, during the previous administration; and thereafter
recommend the appropriate action or measure to be taken thereon to ensure that
the full measure of justice shall be served without fear or favor.c
The Commission shall be composed of a Chairman and four (4) members
who will act as an independent collegial body.c
c
SECTION 2. Powers and Functions. ± The Commission, which shall have
all the powers of an investigative body under Section 37, Chapter 9, Book I of the
Administrative Code of 1987, is primarily tasked to conduct a thorough fact-
finding investigation of reported cases of graft and corruption referred to in
Section 1, involving third level public officers and higher, their co-principals,
accomplices and accessories from the private sector, if any, during the previous
administration and thereafter submit its finding and recommendations to the
President, Congress and the Ombudsman. c
c
In particular, it shall:c
c
a) Identify and determine the reported cases of such graft and corruption
which it will investigate;c
c
b) Collect, receive, review and evaluate evidence related to or regarding the
cases of large scale corruption which it has chosen to investigate, and to this end
require any agency, official or employee of the Executive Branch, including
government-owned or controlled corporations, to produce documents, books,
records and other papers;c
c
c) Upon proper request or representation, obtain information and documents
from the Senate and the House of Representatives records of investigations
conducted by committees thereof relating to matters or subjects being
investigated by the Commission;c
c
d) Upon proper request and representation, obtain information from the
courts, including the Sandiganbayan and the Office of the Court Administrator,
information or documents in respect to corruption cases filed with the
Sandiganbayan or the regular courts, as the case may be;c
c
e) Invite or subpoena witnesses and take their testimonies and for that
purpose, administer oaths or affirmations as the case may be;c
c
f) Recommend, in cases where there is a need to utilize any person as a state
witness to ensure that the ends of justice be fully served, that such person who
qualifies as a state witness under the Revised Rules of Court of the Philippines be
admitted for that purpose;c
c
g) Turn over from time to time, for expeditious prosecution, to the appropriate
prosecutorial authorities, by means of a special or interim report and
recommendation, all evidence on corruption of public officers and employees and
their private sector co-principals, accomplices or accessories, if any, when in the
course of its investigation the Commission finds that there is reasonable ground
to believe that they are liable for graft and corruption under pertinent applicable
laws;c
c
h) Call upon any government investigative or prosecutorial agency such as the
Department of Justice or any of the agencies under it, and the Presidential Anti-
Graft Commission, for such assistance and cooperation as it may require in the
discharge of its functions and duties;c

i) Engage or contract the services of resource persons, professionals and other


personnel determined by it as necessary to carry out its mandate;c
c
j) Promulgate its rules and regulations or rules of procedure it deems
necessary to effectively and efficiently carry out the objectives of this Executive
Order and to ensure the orderly conduct of its investigations, proceedings and
hearings, including the presentation of evidence;c
c
k) Exercise such other acts incident to or are appropriate and necessary in
connection with the objectives and purposes of this Order.c
c
SECTION 3. Staffing Requirements. ± x x x.c

c
SECTION 4. Detail of Employees. ± x x x. c
c
SECTION 5. Engagement of Experts. ± x x x c
c
SECTION 6. Conduct of Proceedings. ± x x x. c
c
SECTION 7. Right to Counsel of Witnesses/Resource Persons. ± x x x. c
c
SECTION 8. Protection of Witnesses/Resource Persons. ± x x x. c
c
SECTION 9. Refusal to Obey Subpoena, Take Oath or Give Testimony. ±
Any government official or personnel who, without lawful excuse, fails to appear
upon subpoena issued by the Commission or who, appearing before the
Commission refuses to take oath or affirmation, give testimony or produce
documents for inspection, when required, shall be subject to administrative
disciplinary action. Any private person who does the same may be dealt with in
accordance with law.c
c
SECTION 10. Duty to Extend Assistance to the Commission. ± x x x. c
c
SECTION 11. Budget for the Commission. ± The Office of the President
shall provide the necessary funds for the Commission to ensure that it can
exercise its powers, execute its functions, and perform its duties and
responsibilities as effectively, efficiently, and expeditiously as possible.c
c
SECTION 12. Office. ± x x x. c
c
SECTION 13. Furniture/Equipment. ± x x x. c
c
SECTION 14. Term of the Commission. ± The Commission shall
accomplish its mission on or before December 31, 2012.c
c
SECTION 15. Publication of Final Report. ± x x x. c
c
SECTION 16. Transfer of Records and Facilities of the Commission. ± x x x. c
c
SECTION 17. Special Provision Concerning Mandate. If and when in the
judgment of the President there is a need to expand the mandate of the
Commission as defined in Section 1 hereof to include the investigation of cases
and instances of graft and corruption during the prior administrations, such
mandate may be so extended accordingly by way of a supplemental Executive
Order.c

c
SECTION 18. Separability Clause. If any provision of this Order is declared
unconstitutional, the same shall not affect the validity and effectivity of the other
provisions hereof.c
c
SECTION 19. Effectivity. ± This Executive Order shall take effect
immediately.c
c
DONE in the City of Manila, Philippines, this 30th day of July 2010.c
c
(SGD.) BENIGNO S. AQUINO IIIc
c
By the President:c
c
(SGD.) PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR.c
Executive Secretaryc

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The order ruled out reconciliation. It translated the Draconian code


spelled out by Aquino in his inaugural speech: ³To those who talk about
reconciliation, if they mean that they would like us to simply forget about
the wrongs that they have committed in the past, we have this to say:
There can be no reconciliation without justice. When we allow crimes to go
unpunished, we give consent to their occurring over and over again.ac

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To the extent the powers of Congress are impaired, so is the power


of each member thereof, since his office confers a right to participate in the
exercise of the powers of that institution.c
An act of the Executive which injures the institution of Congress
causes a derivative but nonetheless substantial injury, which can be
questioned by a member of Congress. In such a case, any member of
Congress can have a resort to the courts.c

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Locus standi is defined as ³a right of appearance in a court of justice
on a given question.a In private suits, standing is governed by the ³real-
parties-in interesta rule as contained in Section 2, Rule 3 of the 1997 Rules
of Civil Procedure, as amended. It provides that ;O Oc $'()%c *+,(c -Oc
.,O'+(O&c c &OO%&O&c )%c (/Oc %$*Oc c (/Oc O$0c .$(c )%c )%(OO,(<
Accordingly, the ³real-party-in interesta is ³the party who stands to be
benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit or the party entitled to the
avails of the suit.a Succinctly put, the plaintiff¶s standing is based on his
own right to the relief sought.c
c
The difficulty of determining locus standi arises in public suits.
Here, the plaintiff who asserts a ³public righta in assailing an allegedly
illegal official action, does so as a representative of the general public. He
may be a person who is affected no differently from any other person. He
could be suing as a ³stranger,a or in the category of a ³citizen,a or
µtaxpayer.a In either case, he has to adequately show that he is entitled to
seek judicial protection. In other words, he has to make out a sufficient
interest in the vindication of the public order and the securing of relief as a
³citizena or ³taxpayer.c
c
Case law in most jurisdictions now allows both ³citizena and
³taxpayera standing in public actions. The distinction was first laid down
in eauchamp v. Silk, where it was held that the plaintiff in a taxpayer¶s
suit is in a different category from the plaintiff in a citizen¶s suit. In the
former, the plaintiff is affected by the expenditure of public funds, while in
the latter, he is but the mere instrument of the public concern. As held by
the New York Supreme Court in People ex rel Case v. Collins: ³In matter of
mere public right, however«the people are the real parties«It is at least
the right, if not the duty, of every citizen to interfere and see that a public
offence be properly pursued and punished, and that a public grievance be
remedied.a With respect to taxpayer¶s suits, Terr v. Jordan held that ³the
right of a citizen and a taxpayer to maintain an action in courts to restrain
the unlawful use of public funds to his injury cannot be denied.ac

However, to prevent just about any person from seeking judicial


interference in any official policy or act with which he disagreed with, and
thus hinders the activities of governmental agencies engaged in public
service, the United State Supreme Court laid down the more stringent
;&)O'(c )%1+<c (O,( in x Parte Levitt, later reaffirmed in Tileston v.
Ullman. The same Court ruled that for a private individual to invoke the
judicial power to determine the validity of an executive or legislative
action, /Oc*+,(c,/2c(/$(c/Oc/$,c,+,($)%O&c$c&)O'(c)%1+c$,c$cO,+0(cc(/$(c
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This Court adopted the
&)O'(c )%1+ c (O,( in our jurisdiction. In
People v. Vera, it held that the person who impugns the validity of a
statute must have ;$c.O,%$0c$%&c,+-,($%()$0c)%(OO,(c)%c(/Oc'$,Oc,+'/c(/$(c
/Oc/$,c,+,($)%O&cc2)00c,+,($)%c&)O'(c)%1+c$,c$cO,+0(< The Vera doctrine
was upheld in a litany of cases, such as, Custodio v. President of the
Senate, Manila Race Horse Trainers¶ Association v. De la Fuente,
Pascual v. Secretary of Public Works and Anti-Chinese League of the
Philippines v. Felix. [Emphases included. Citations omitted]c
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But of course, the list of legal basis authorizing the President to
reorganize any department or agency in the executive branch does not
have to end here. We must not lose sight of the very source of the power ±
that which constitutes an express grant of power. Under Section 31, Book
III of Executive Order No. 292 (otherwise known as the Administrative
Code of 1987), "the President, subject to the policy in the Executive Office
and in order to achieve simplicity, economy and efficiency, shall have the
continuing authority to reorganize the administrative structure of the
Office of the President." For this purpose, he may transfer the functions of
other Departments or Agencies to the Office of the President. mn
Canonizado v. Aguirre [323 SCRA 312 (2000)], we ruled that
reorganization "involves the reduction of personnel, consolidation of
offices, or abolition thereof by reason of economy or redundancy of
functions." (c($4O,c.0$'Oc2/O%c(/OOc),c$%c$0(O$()%cc(/OcO),()%3c,(+'(+Oc
c 3 O%*O%(c )'O,c c +%)(,c (/OO)%c )%'0+&)%3c (/Oc 0)%O,c c '%(0c
$+(/)(c$%&cO,.%,)-)0)(c-O(2OO%c(/O* The EIIB is a bureau attached to
the Department of Finance. It falls under the Office of the President.
Hence, it is subject to the President¶s continuing authority to reorganize.
[Emphasis Supplied]c

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WHEREAS, the    towards thec parliamentary form of


governmentc will necessitate flexibility in the organization of the national
government. c

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cASSOCIATE JUSTICE CARPIO: Because P.D. 1416 was enacted was the
last whereas clause of P.D. 1416 says ³it
was enacted to prepare the transition
from presidential to parliamentary.
Now, in a parliamentary form of
government, the legislative and
executive powers are fused, correct?c
c
SOLICITOR GENERAL CADIZ: Yes, Your Honor.c
c
ASSOCIATE JUSTICE CARPIO: That is why, that P.D. 1416 was issued.
Now would you agree with me that
P.D. 1416 should not be considered
effective anymore upon the
promulgation, adoption, ratification of
the 1987 Constitution.c
c
SOLICITOR GENERAL CADIZ: Not the whole of P.D. [No.] 1416, Your
Honor.c
c
ASSOCIATE JUSTICE CARPIO: The power of the President to
reorganize the entire National
Government is deemed repealed, at
least, upon the adoption of the 1987
Constitution, correct.c
c
SOLICITOR GENERAL CADIZ: Yes, Your Honor.c

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Section 17. The President shall have control of all the executive
departments, bureaus, and offices. Oc ,/$00c O%,+Oc (/$(c (/Oc 0$2,c -Oc
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x x x. The 1987 Constitution, however, brought back the
presidential system of government and restored the separation of
legislative, executive and judicial powers by their actual distribution
among three distinct branches of government with provision for checks
and balances.c
c
It would not be accurate, however, to state that "executive power" is
the power to enforce the laws, for the President is head of state as well as
head of government and whatever powers inhere in such positions pertain
to the office unless the Constitution itself withholds it. Furthermore, the
Constitution itself provides that the execution of the laws is only one of the
powers of the President. It also grants the President other powers that do
not involve the execution of any provision of law, e.g., his power over the
country's foreign relations.c
c
c
On these premises, we hold the view that although the 1987
Constitution imposes limitations on the exercise of ,.O'))' powers of the
President, it maintains intact what is traditionally considered as within the
scope of "executive power." Corollarily, the powers of the President
cannot be said to be limited only to the specific powers enumerated in the
Constitution. In other words, executive power is more than the sum of
specific powers so enumerated.c
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government that is neither legislative nor judicial has to be executive. x x x.c
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/Oc /)Oc O'+() O,c .2Oc (c 'O$(Oc (/Oc  c % O,()3$()%3c
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President has the obligation to ensure that all executive officials and
employees faithfully comply with the law. With AO 298 as mandate, the
legality of the investigation is sustained. Such validity is not affected by
the fact that the investigating team and the PCAGC had the same
composition, or that the former used the offices and facilities of the latter
in conducting the inquiry. [Emphasis supplied]c

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6mnvestigate,6 commonly understood, means to examine, explore,


inquire or delve or probe into, research on, study. The dictionary definition
of "investigate" is "to observe or study closely: inquire into systematically:
"to search or inquire into: x x to subject to an official probe x x: to conduct
an official inquiry." The purpose of investigation, of course, is to discover,
to find out, to learn, obtain information. Nowhere included or intimated is
the notion of settling, deciding or resolving a controversy involved in the
facts inquired into by application of the law to the facts established by the
inquiry.c

The legal meaning of "investigate" is essentially the same: "(t)o


follow up step by step by patient inquiry or observation. To trace or track;
to search into; to examine and inquire into with care and accuracy; to find
out by careful inquisition; examination; the taking of evidence; a legal
inquiry;" "to inquire; to make an investigation," "investigation" being in
turn described as "(a)n administrative function, the exercise of which
ordinarily does not require a hearing. 2 Am J2d Adm L Sec. 257; x x an
inquiry, judicial or otherwise, for the discovery and collection of facts
concerning a certain matter or matters."c

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6Adjudicate,6 commonly or popularly understood, means to


adjudge, arbitrate, judge, decide, determine, resolve, rule on, settle. The
dictionary defines the term as "to settle finally (the rights and duties of the
parties to a court case) on the merits of issues raised: x x to pass judgment
on: settle judicially: x x act as judge." And "adjudge" means "to decide or
rule upon as a judge or with judicial or quasi-judicial powers: x x to award
or grant judicially in a case of controversy x x."c

In the legal sense, "adjudicate" means: "To settle in the exercise of


judicial authority. To determine finally. Synonymous with adjudge in its
strictest sense;" and "adjudge" means: "To pass on judicially, to decide,
settle or decree, or to sentence or condemn. x x. Implies a judicial
determination of a fact, and the entry of a judgment." %'
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ccccccccccccThis power of investigation granted to the Ombudsman by the 1987


Constitution and The Ombudsman Act ),c %(c O'0+,) Oc -+(c ),c ,/$O&c 2)(/c
(/Oc ,)*)0$0c $+(/)5O&c 3 O%*O%(c $3O%')O,c such as the PCGG and
judges of municipal trial courts and municipal circuit trial courts. The
power to conduct preliminary investigation on charges against public
employees and officials is likewise concurrently shared with the
Department of Justice. Despite the passage of the Local Government Code
in 1991, the Ombudsman retains concurrent jurisdiction with the Office of
the President and the local Sanggunians to investigate complaints against
local elective officials. [Emphasis supplied]. c

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(1) Investigate and prosecute on its own or on complaint by any
person, any act or omission of any public officer or employee, office or
agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper
or inefficient. It has .)*$c 1+),&)'()% over cases cognizable by the
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The guaranty of equal protection of the laws is not a guaranty of


equality in the application of the laws upon all citizens of the state. It is
not, therefore, a requirement, in order to avoid the constitutional
prohibition against inequality, that every man, woman and child should be
affected alike by a statute. Equality of operation of statutes does not mean
indiscriminate operation on persons merely as such, but on persons
according to the circumstances surrounding them. It guarantees equality,
not identity of rights. The Constitution does not require that things which
are different in fact be treated in law as though they were the same. The
equal protection clause does not forbid discrimination as to things that are
different. It does not prohibit legislation which is limited either in the
object to which it is directed or by the territory within which it is to
operate.c
c
The equal protection of the laws clause of the Constitution allows
classification. Classification in law, as in the other departments of
knowledge or practice, is the grouping of things in speculation or practice
because they agree with one another in certain particulars. A law is not
invalid because of simple inequality. The very idea of classification is that
of inequality, so that it goes without saying that the mere fact of inequality
in no manner determines the matter of constitutionality. All that is
required of a valid classification is that it be reasonable, which means that
the classification should be based on substantial distinctions which make
for real differences, that it must be germane to the purpose of the law; that
it must not be limited to existing conditions only; and that it must apply
equally to each member of the class. This Court has held that the standard
is satisfied if the classification or distinction is based on a reasonable
foundation or rational basis and is not palpably arbitrary. [Citations
omitted] c

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WHEREAS, there is a need for a separate body dedicated solely to


investigating and finding out the truth concerning the reported cases of
graft and corruption during the .O )+,c $&*)%),($()%, and which will
recommend the prosecution of the offenders and secure justice for all;c
c

SECTION 1. Creation of a Commission. ± There is hereby created the


PHILIPPINE TRUTH COMMISSION, hereinafter referred to as the
³COMMISSION,a which shall primarily seek and find the truth on, and
toward this end, investigate reports of graft and corruption of such scale
and magnitude that shock and offend the moral and ethical sensibilities of
the people, committed by public officers and employees, their co-
principals, accomplices and accessories from the private sector, if any,
during the .O )+,c $&*)%),($()%; and thereafter recommend the
appropriate action or measure to be taken thereon to ensure that the full
measure of justice shall be served without fear or favor.c

SECTION 2. Powers and Functions. ± The Commission, which shall have


all the powers of an investigative body under Section 37, Chapter 9, Book I
of the Administrative Code of 1987, is primarily tasked to conduct a
thorough fact-finding investigation of reported cases of graft and
corruption referred to in Section 1, involving third level public officers and
higher, their co-principals, accomplices and accessories from the private
sector, if any, during the .O )+,c$&*)%),($()% and thereafter submit its
finding and recommendations to the President, Congress and the
Ombudsman. [Emphases supplied]c

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