Press Release
December 14, 2011

Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter S. Cayetano

Cayetano on Corona Impeachment case

Reporter: Ano ngayon ang magiging problema sa impeachment sa existing set of senators?

Always, the less number of senators you have, 22 to 24 hopefully not reaching as low as 21, the more favorable the situation is for the person being impeached. Being a political but judicial process, you need substantial numbers because the impeachment of an impeachable officer is not to be taken lightly. So the Constitution really made the process hard by asking for a two-thirds vote from the body.

So it's natural that when there is a vacant senatorial seat, it becomes harder to convict because that senator doesn't have to vote no. The mere fact that he is not present means he cannot vote yes. Because there are less senators, the votes you need become less.

Reporter: What is your reaction to the speech delivered by the Chief Justice earlier?

After listening to the speech of the Chief Justice, it's clear to me that things are going to get worse before they get better. Both sides, the Executive and the Judiciary, feel that they are required to articulate their stands and explain to the people what is happening. But the Senate has to be very fair and we have to stick to the evidence and to the issues that are brought up in the impeachment court.

The two sides and their battle is in and out of the impeachment court. But the senators have to disregard whatever arguments or whatever pieces of evidence are presented outside of the impeachment court as presented by both the prosecution and the defense.

We still haven't reached a point of constitutional crisis. In fact, we are experiencing the reverse. The constitution is alive and it is working. The clashing of the great powers of the government was meant by the framers of the constitution. Precisely because the government shouldn't be a dictatorship with only one person or branch reigning supreme.

The question here is: If there is a clash or conflict, what is the process to resolving this and what is the solution? So far, the solution is working. The impeachment process is one where the people will be able to get involved and both sides will really get to voice out their sides.

Reporter: Do you think it's healthy that the people are seeing the conflict between the Executive and the Judiciary so openly?

It's healthy. It's an extraordinary release because not everyone gets impeached. It's not often that the House gets to decide on the impeachment of an impeachable officer. But this just shows Constitutional process is working.

A constitutional crisis will occur if in the event of a conflict between branches of the government if the constitution does not clearly state how the situation will be resolved. But right now, with the impeachment process, the system is really working.

Reporter: Do you agree that may safe venue for both parties to air their concerns?

I don't want to respond to any of the accusations that the Executive and the Chief Justice are throwing at each other because now as we are to be sworn in a few minutes as senator-judges for the trial, we will have to discard out personal opinions and the opinions of others that we hear outside of that and the impeachment court.

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