Maceda: 16 votes uphill battle for prosecution

by Ira Pedrasa, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Jan 16 2012 01:56 PM | Updated as of Jan 16 2012 09:56 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Former Senator and now political analyst Ernesto Maceda said it will be an uphill battle for the prosecution to garner at least 16 votes for the ouster of Chief Justice Renato Corona.

In an interview with ANC, Maceda said the current configuration is at five or six senators for the ouster of Corona against the three votes for his acquittal.

He said that while the Liberal Party bloc is already considered for the conviction of Corona, the prosecution still needs to achieve 16 votes.

The Liberal Party bloc includes Senators Franklin Drilon, Ralph Recto, TG Guingona and Francis Pangilinan. They are joined by “allies,” Senators Panfilo Lacson and Antonio Trillanes IV.

Corona probably has senators Miriam Santiago, Joker Arroyo and Bongbong Marcos. The last two have supposedly shown their support for Corona.

Marcos belongs to the Nacionalista Party bloc of senators Manuel Villar, and siblings Pia and Alan Peter Cayetano, he said.

Maceda, however, noted that the swing votes can come from the bloc of senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, Vicente Sotto III and Gregorio Honasan.

“An abstention or absence will be favorable to an acquittal,” he said.

He, however, noted that there are 6 re-electionists among the senators, all of whom are in the top six in opinion surveys. He said it remains to be seen if these six will go towards a “popular” vote.

He also said that a longer trial will be favorable for Corona.

If there is a sure winner in all these, it would be the anti-Reproductive Health (RH) Bill advocates, Maceda said, since the Senate won't have enough time to pass the measure.