Veteran journalists belongingto the Association of Philippine Journalists/Samahang Plaridel are calling for the creation of an Independent Truth Commission that will ensure a “fair, impartial and exhaustive” investigation of the pork barrel scam.
In a resolution signed on August 30—at the 163rd birth anniversary of Marcelo H. del Pilar—Samahang Plaridel officials urged Malacañang to issue an Executive Order forming an Independent Truth Commission to be “composed of five commissioners, of acknowledged integrity and honesty” who will investigate “the use and misuse of public funds of government, especially the pork barrel allocation of the legislative and executive branches” of government and submit their findings and recommendations within six months.
The Assn. of Phil. Journalists Samahang Plaridel Foundation, Inc. board led by chairman, and Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist, Neal H. Cruz, said an investigating group with members coming from any executive or legislative agencies of government “cannot be expected to possess and exercise the cold neutrality of an impartial judge, since they themselves and their colleagues stand accused of misuse of public funds”.
The group of concerned journalists believe “there is need to insulate the process of investigation . . . from political influences and gratitude motivations,” citing, as precedent the “untrusted and incompetent” Agrava Commission formed by then President Ferdinand E. Marcos to investigate the assassination of Benigno Aquino Jr.