PNoy far from being a dictator: Palace
MANILA, Philippines (1st UPDATE) - President Benigno Aquino III’s continued insistence to dip his finger in the trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona may just turn out to be his fall, according to former senator Ernesto Maceda.
In an interview with ANC, Maceda said Aquino is handling the situation “very badly…he’s now putting himself squarely on the line to a point where it could be said rightly: If he loses this case, then he personally loses, and his leadership weakens…”
He said that if Aquino’s allies manage a Corona ouster, “he [will now] control the Supreme Court, the Senate, the House. It will expose him to grave temptations of being authoritarian if not a dictator, to say the least.”
He said Aquino’s government has been consistent in making statements day in and day out about the trial, to the detriment of the whole well-being of the country and the economy.
He added: “Considering the immaturity he is showing these days, it would be very dangerous for an immature person to have so much power.”
PNoy far from being a dictator: Palace
Malacañang refuted Maceda's statement that President Aquino is showing signs of becoming a dictator in his alleged insistence to control Congress and the judiciary.
“The last thing that people will believe about our President is that he is a dictator. Very far from it,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said when asked for comment.
“The President continues to do the work of governance. While he does from time to time gets to see parts of the impeachment, he does not monitor it obsessively as some people would like to propagate and in fact the President continues to do his work,” she added.
Maceda, who was also United States ambassador during the time of President Joseph Estrada, also said in the interview he does not see a “mistrial” as claimed by Aquino’s allies in the Senate.
Senator-judge Serge Osmeña said the Corona defense team is setting the stage for a mistrial by claiming that Malacanang tried to bribe some of his colleagues in exchange for snubbing a Supreme Court-issued halt order on the opening of alleged dollar accounts.
Maceda said a “mistrial” is unlikely. He said the impeachment court, led by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, will see the trial to its finish.
He also noted the 13-10 vote by senator-judges to respect the SC halt order as indicative of things.
Besides avoiding a constitutional crisis, a lot of senators stood by Enrile. “Remember there is a real attempt to oust him,” he said.
The voting also showed the “leanings” of each senator-judge, he said. “Assuming the 10 are solid [for the ouster]…the prosecution still lacks six.”
The 13 senator-judges who voted to respect the SC temporary restraining order (TRO) are: Joker Arroyo, Miriam Santiago, Manny Villar, Ralph Recto, Francis Escudero, Aquilino Pimentel III, Loren Legarda, Gregorio Honasan, Bong Revilla, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Vicente Sotto III, Jinggoy Estrada, and Enrile himself.
The 10 senator-judges who voted otherwise are: Franklin Drilon, Alan Cayetano, Serge Osmeña, Edgardo Angara, Panfilo Lacson, Pia Cayetano, Francis Pangilinan, Antonio Trillanes, Lito Lapid, and TG Guingona.
Villar’s vote is already telling, Maceda said. “There is sufficient ground that he is leaning towards an acquittal.”
The surprise in the 13 is Recto, he said. Maceda said, however, that “Recto is deep into Batangas politics [because of wife Vilma].”
The Coronas hail from Batangas. “You know the Batangueños, they close their ranks if fellow Batangueño is [being attacked].”
Maceda said the defense’s accusation is only a “maneuvering” of sorts.
He said “the senators were forced to make denials, but then it’s up to the public to take a position whether to believe or not.”
The same can be said for the supplemental motion of the defense before the SC, where they named Osmeña, Drilon, Guingona, Alan Cayetano and Pangilinan as helping the prosecution.
“The partiality is there, you can’t deny that, basically all are Liberal Party members. It goes without saying that they will support the President and his stance.”
He said the defense motion “is a maneuver to put a leash on senators who are ‘leaning’ [towards the prosecution].” -- with a report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News