What Bong, PNoy talked about

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Sen. Bong Revilla Jr. and President Aquino agreed on one thing: they met in Malacañang and talked about the then ongoing impeachment trial of chief justice Renato Corona.

But Bong and PNoy disagreed on what was said at the meeting.

Bong in his Senate speech Monday said PNoy pleaded for him to vote against Corona: "Pare, parang awa mo na. Ibalato mo sa akin ito. Kailangang ma-impeach siya."

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PNoy said he was trying "to lessen the pressure on all (the senators)" and "ensure that they decide the case on the merits." He didn't specify how he said that--and who were pressuring the senators.

Who'd be more powerful than the president? Did anyone else try to seduce the senators with tons of money or threaten them with blackmail? Would other senators whom PNoy admitted he also met and talked with confirm his version?

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If PNoy did beg for for Bong's vote, still there's dispute over what it meant.

Some say it's not impeachable, not illegal. Not even improper, others say. Yet it's doubtful if it can meet standards of the impeachment court on independence of senator-judges.

It was a political process. But foremost, it was a judicial trial where senator-judges were required to decide freely and not be swayed by outside meddling.

Only bribery, one senator said, could be considered unlawful. If indeed the favor was sought, what greater bribery could there be: an "IOU" from the most powerful official of the land?

And if PNoy merely asked Bong to do what was right, was there a need for DILG chief Mar Roxas's cloak-and-dagger pickup?

(paseares@sunstar.com.ph)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 23, 2014.

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