JPE: CJ trial takes toll on Senate legislation

By Christina Mendez and Jess Diaz, The Philippine Star

Posted at Apr 10 2012 09:35 AM | Updated as of Apr 10 2012 09:16 PM

MANILA, Philippines - For Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona has started to take its toll on the legislative function of the Senate.

Enrile said he and his colleagues have been trying to squeeze legislative functions into their schedule during morning sessions with little success.

“We want to wrap up (the impeachment trial) so that we can work on other laws,” Enrile said in a radio interview.

Enrile’s admission came after he was asked if Congress would still pursue Charter change initiatives.

“The attention of Congress is in the impeachment. We don’t have time to attend all of these things,” he said.

Enrile lamented that even his pet measure, the Anti-Trust Bill, remains pending with the Senate.

“We try our best to include the legislative measures but the Anti-Trust bill should be carefully studied because this has relation with the flexibility of our businesses here,” he said.

The Senate will continue its impeachment trial of Corona upon the resumption of session on May 7.

Based on Senate records, there were 2,838 bills pending in the committee level between July 26, 2010 and March 21, 2012.

The Senate had passed 296 bills during the same period, of which six had already been enacted into law. 

Meanwhile, congressmen prosecuting Chief Justice Corona are hoping his Senate impeachment trial would be over by May 31, or a week before Congress goes on its mandatory annual adjournment on June 8.

“We hope the trial would be finished by the end of May,” Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara, a prosecution spokesman, said in a television interview.