January 25, 2012
Cayetano: 'Senator-judges are not only called to act fairly
Senate minority leader Alan Peter Cayetano reiterated that he and his colleagues in the Senate as senator-judges took their oaths not only to be politically neutral and impartial but to uncover the truth in the impeachment trial of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.
The senator issued this statement amidst suspicions of both members of the prosecution and the defense panels of partiality on the part of senator-judges owing to the seeming leaning of their manifestations during the trial.
"The nature of this case is different. We are not talking about criminal or civil proceedings here. We are talking about whether it is wrong or right to impeach an impeachable officer. Dapat ba o hindi?" he said.
"If there are pieces of evidence or issues that are not addressed during the impeachment trial simply because of the passiveness of the senator-judges, who do you think will be made to suffer and will eventually be blamed?" he asked.
The minority leader was also quick to point out that even silence on their part could also be taken as a sign of partiality.
"If a judge is already partial, he wouldn't need to ask questions," he said.
He, therefore, urged the public not be so quick to label the senator-judges as being for either the prosecution or defense since their manifestations during the trial are mainly aimed at ferreting out the truth.
"While it is the right of the people to be vigilant and of the media to be critical, they must give us some leeway... it doesn't mean that if we incidentally help one side owing to the questions we ask that we are already taking sides," he said.
"If there are legal issues that I feel strongly about yet I don't manifest my views, I will then be betraying my own mandate," he added.
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