Senate leader: Impeachment a test for entire government

MANILA -- The entire government, not just Chief Justice Renato Corona, will be on trial when the Senate begins hearing the impeachment complaint against him next week, Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano said Tuesday.

"I think the Judiciary, the Legislative and the Executive departments will be under scrutiny. Can we multi task and bring in the reforms and projects needed to be done by the government while we're doing our Constitutional duty of check and balances through an impeachment trial?" he said.

The senator said the government must show that it is "fully-functional and that programs and projects are being pushed even if the Senate is busy with the impeachment."

The Senate has already adjusted its schedule so it can sit as an impeachment court in the afternoons.

Legislative sessions will be held on Monday and Tuesday mornings, with Wednesday mornings set aside for confirmation hearings of the Commission on Appointments.

The Senate will also be judged on how it will conduct the impeachment trial, Cayetano said.

"I think the Senate will be as much on trial as the Judiciary in proving its impartiality as an institution. It's not only a judicial process, it not being a criminal or administrative case but also a political process. We can be political but at the same time remain impartial," he said. (Jonathan de Santos/Sunnex)

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