Fariñas apologizes to senator-judge Revilla

February 8, 2012 11:11 pm 

MANILA, Feb. 8 — House prosecutor Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas apologized on Wednesday to Senator-Judge Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. whom the congressman used as example of a senator that can be removed by a two-third votes in the Senate on ground of creating troubles.

”I’m asking for forgiveness if that’s the style of my effort to explain my point but I have full respect to you Mr. President (Juan Ponce Enrile) and other members of the Senate," said Fariñas.

The Ilocos Norte lawmaker was explaining about Tuesday's impeachment trial of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona wherein he said that like the chief magistrate, any member of the Senate or House of Representatives as well as the President of the Republic can be removed through impeachment proceedings even if they are elected by majority of the Filipino people.

Revilla reacted when Fariñas used the former as an example as if the lawmaker from Ilocos Norte was insinuating that the senator from Cavite is creating trouble in the Senate.

”I was hurt on the point of creating trouble. The people might think that Senator Bong Revilla is creating trouble in the Senate. Mr. Congressman, we have kept our name unblemished for a long time. We should be careful of every word that we speak. I respect you as friend of my dad (former Senator Ramon Revilla Sr.), but respect each of one us here,” Revilla told Fariñas at the start of the impeachment trial on Wednesday.

Fariñas replied, "Like what I said, your honor, I have high respect for you…” in trying to explain but was interrupted by Revilla who responded: “Your apology is accepted.”

Senator-Judge Pia Cayetano also questioned the Ilocos Norte solon for saying that the senator-judges and prosecution are one in prosecuting the chief justice.

”I want to put on record that we're not one here. We have our own responsibility. The prosecution as prosecutors, the defense as defenders, and we senators as judges. Let’s clear this because I have received a lot of questions if senators and prosecutors are united. No. We have separate responsibility here,” Cayetano stressed.

The lady senator was referring to Fariñas' statement at the impeachment court that: “we’re not enemies here. Our enemy here is the respondent because we want him to be held accountable.”

Actually, Farinas also mentioned Senate President-presiding officer Juan Ponce Enrile as example that he can be removed through a two-third vote but the veteran senator did not take it against the congressman.

”It’s okay for me because he was just trying to explain if I will be removed … it’s not true,” Enrile said in a media interview before the morning Senate legislative session.

Enrile, however, requested that “whoever speaks in this Chamber must not involve any member of this court.”

”May I just request everybody to think on what they said in this impeachment court. We’re not partisan in this court. We are here as triers and hearers of facts. I think every lawyer, elementarily, know this norm,” he said.

”We’re not combatants, we’re judges, referees between the prosecution and the defense and I hope whatever statements implying that this court is adversary to anyone should be taken without any value because this court is a court of law designated by the sovereign people to render justice according to the evidence and nothing more and nothing less … so ordered,” he added as he banged the gavel. (PNA) DCT/lgi/jfm

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