Bayan welcomes Aquino vow to pursue “true and complete justice for all”

June 30, 2010

We welcome the statements of President Benigno Aquino III that there will be “no reconciliation without justice” and that “to forget the wrongs of the past would mean repeating them”. Aquino’s order to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to “begin the process of providing true and complete justice for all” should serve as the principle for prosecuting former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her cabal of corrupt and abusive officials.

We expect nothing less than the filing of charges, the arrest and conviction of these officials for large-scale corruption, gross human rights abuses and election fraud. We expect nothing less than the removal of the corrupt and abusive remnants of the Arroyo regime, including the questionable midnight appointees.

The strongly-worded speech of Aquino should be followed through with swift and concrete action by the newly-created Truth Commission and the Justice Department. The evidence needed for conviction of Arroyo and her cohorts is readily available. These have been gathered and compiled over several years via the various impeachment complaints and the efforts of different citizens groups. With the vast powers of the State, Aquino has the opportunity to make Arroyo’s conviction a reality.

The Truth Commission and the Justice Department should focus on the so-called “big fish”, starting with the former president and her top officials. Both bodies should create a favorable climate and provide the adequate protection for witnesses who want to come forward and testify on the wrongdoings of the past regime.

We look forward to the day that Arroyo, Virgilio Garcillano, Joc-Joc Bolante, Gen. Jovito Palparan and others like them will face the justice system and be convicted for their crimes against the people.

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)