Senators deny being approached by INC

By Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 21 2012 02:49 PM | Updated as of May 22 2012 02:35 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Senator-judges denied being approached by the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) to lobby for the acquittal of Chief Justice Renato Corona.

The information came out in a report by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, which cited a Congressional source.

"Walang pumupunta sa akin. I quarantined myself already," said Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.

Sen. Edgardo Angara, on the other hand, refused to answer when asked if any member of the influential religious group, known to deliver millions of votes during elections, ever approached him to lobby for Corona.

He said the act is not objectionable, however.

"I think there is nothing wrong with constituents to talk to their representative government. Hindi ba 'yon ang konsepto ng ating demokrasya, representative government?"

Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. also sees nothing wrong with entertaining lobbyists from either side in the impeachment trial, although no one has visited him. In the end, he said it's the senator-judges who will decide.

He also believes it's "natural" for President Aquino to talk to the INC even during the heat of the trial. On Monday, Malacanang confirmed that the President met with INC Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo.

"It is natural for the President to go and to speak and to consult about all these things and about anything," he said.

Sen. Francis Pangilinan, meanwhile, would rather not entertain lobbyists. He said no one has approached him so far.

"It would be better for us to maintain our impartiality and neutrality," he told reporters.