Cayetano: ‘Not only the CJ is on trial, we all are’
MANILA, Jan. 10 (PNA) -- Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano said on Tuesday that the impending impeachment trial for Chief Justice Renato Corona can also be considered a trial for all the three branches of government to see if they can multi-task and deliver promised reforms despite being preoccu- pied with the impeachment. “I think the Judiciary, the Legislative and the Executive de- partments will be under scrutiny. Can we multi- task and bring in the reforms and projects needed to be done by the government while we’re doing our constitu- tional duty of check and balances through an impeachment trial?” he asked.
The senator pointed out that as the Senate does its part -- holding
sessions in the morning and com- mittee hearings on its supposed days off -- the Executive and the Judiciary must also step up and work as hard.
“The Executive has to do its part by continuing to deliver the projects and being more prepared and proactive. This is also a chal- lenge to the Supreme Court that even if the chief magistrate is on trial, the reforms that we’re ex- pecting from the Judiciary should push through and should go in an even faster pace,” he said. The Senate minority leader called on all three branches of the government to use this op- portunity to prove themselves to the Filipino people.
“It is very important that our countrymen feel that their gov- ernment is fully-functional and
Midweek, Wed. - Fri., Jan. 11 - 13, 2012 Balita FILIPINOS REACH RELIGIOUS HIGH... From Page 1
Gazmin told reporters on Monday that police were hunt- ing nine people believed to be involved in planning the attacks, and named two well-known Is- lamic militant groups as possibly being behind the threat. “This is a target of opportu-
nity, this Feast of Nazarene, so we should be alarmed,” Gazmin told reporters.
He said a huge police pres- ence was on show for the pro- cession, which was expected to last well into the night, while mobile phone coverage had been blocked close to the icon in a bid to thwart any remote-triggered bomb.
Gazmin said the suspects were from the southern Philip- pines, a hotbed of Islamic mili- tancy, and that security forces believed they may belong to the Al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf or the Moro Islamic Liberation
that programs and projects are being pushed even if the Senate is busy with the impeachment trial,” he said.
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Cayetano also stressed the importance of impartiality of the Senate as an impeachment court because, according to him, “if it can have an impar- tial hearing then it will show that the Constitution works and the
Front (MILF). The Abu Sayyaf is a band of just a few hundred militants but is blamed for the country’s worst attacks, including the bombing of a ferry in Manila Bay in 2004 in which more than 100 people died. The MILF has about 12,000 armed followers and has been waging a separatist rebellion in the southern Philippines since the 1960s that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.
Its leaders are currently in- volved in peace talks with the government and have disavowed terrorism, but they have previ- ously acknowledged an inability to control “rogue” members. The procession stretched into the night as the statue was trans- ported across clogged Manila roads, and police said there had been no terrorist-related incidents. The Red Cross however said nearly 300 devotees suffered various injuries, including dehy-
senators can go beyond politics.” “I think the Senate will be as much on trial as the Judiciary in proving its impartiality as an institution. It’s not only a judicial process, it not being a criminal or administrative case but also a political process. We can be po- litical but at the same time remain impartial,” he said.
The Senate, sitting as the impeachment court, will begin the impeachment proceedings on January 16 when the second regu- lar session of the 15th Congress resumes after the one-month Christmas break. (PNA)
dration, bruises and cuts and high blood pressure.
“There were no reports of any incidents, but we are still main- taining high police visibility,” national police chief Nicanor Bartolome said.
Manila warehouseman Maxi- mo Graciano, 44, a Black Naza- rene procession participant for the past 15 years, told AFP as he jostled among the crowd that the terrorism warning was not enough to keep him away. “If we allow ourselves to be cowed by terrorism, it means we do not really believe in Him,” said Graciano, who insisted the icon had helped him regain the full use of his right arm after it was severely injured in a car accident.
At least 80 percent of the Philippines’ population of 94 million are Catholic, a legacy of the country’s Spanish colonial past, while about four percent are Muslim.
Most of the Philippines’ Is- lamic minority live in the south, a fertile and resource-rich area that remains impoverished partly be- cause of the violence that plagues the area.
Defence Secretary Gazmin said authorities had been aware of plans to attack the Black Nazarene festival as far back as August last year.
He also revealed security forces raided three “safehouses” allegedly used by the suspects last week but that nobody had been captured.
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