Affected politicians are on a mad damage control scramble following the tell-all privilege speech delivered by embattled Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla the other night. In his privilege speech, Revilla defended himself against allegations of pork barrel thievery and revealed intriguing accounts of how Philippine President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III attempted to influence various senators to issue a “guilty” verdict during the impeachment trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona. The highlight of his account was how no less than Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas chauffeured Revilla to a meeting with President BS Aquino at the Bahay Pangarap (House of Dreams) in Malacañang Palace.Debate now rages over whether Aquino’s underhanded tactics to influence the outcome of the 2012 impeachment trial of Corona constitute an impeachable offense. Senate President Franklin Drilon — a staunch ally of Aquino — was, unsurprisingly, among the first to come to the president’s defense…
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“Of course not. It’s not impeachable. That’s all part of politics…,” Drilon told reporters when sought to react to Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.’s accusation that the President had interfered in the Corona impeachment.
Drilon admits that he was not invited by the president for a similar meeting — perhaps because he did not need to.
Roxas, for his part, figured in a full-length article featured today (the 22nd of January 2014) as the top headline on the Inquirer.net website no less. The article highlighted Roxas’s love of driving and preference to be behind the wheel (rather than be driven by a chauffeur) on some long drives as a form of relaxation.
Unknown to many, Roxas actually enjoys being behind the wheel.
“Driving relieves my stress. I feel relaxed when I drive, especially when it’s a long drive,” Roxas told the Inquirer in an interview.
“Every time I attend official engagements in the provinces, I usually drive if I have a chance,” he said.
Apparently, Roxas suddenly found the need to reveal to the public over a major report on the country’s biggest daily news broadsheet his love of driving. One wonders though why such trivia did not, instead, get featured on the “Lifestyle” section of the Inquirer.net.
President BS Aquino, nonetheless, defended the secret meetings he conducted with the Senator Judges of the 2012 impeachment trial…
In an interview during the anniversary celebration of the Insurance Commission, the President explained that the separate meetings were done to “lessen the pressure” being exerted by some sectors on the senator-judges.
He even justified the meetings as “part of his duty.”
“Normally, I could have simply ignored so many reports that there were sectors exerting strong pressure on senators to decide the case not based on its merits. It was like many were telling them to exonerate Corona in exchange of something,” Aquino said in the vernacular.
It is interesting to note that on the very day of Revilla’s privilege speech, Malacanang had organised a National Day of Prayer, an event Communication Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma described as one to be “held in accordance with the Filipino people’s recognition of the guidance of Divine Providence in our forward movement towards a more progressive future.”
[Photo of Mar Roxas courtesy Yahoo! News.]
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.