Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Chief Justice Admits Pressure in Cha-Cha

Supreme Court Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban today admitted there were pressure from sectors interested in the resolution of the people's initiative petition but vowed the court will not to be impeded by these in deciding the case.

"There are, what you call, pressures from those who are interested in the case but we are not afraid, we will not be cowed or be impeded by these alleged pressures," Panganiban said.

He said the Court has set a special en banc session on October 25. The Court, he added will try to resolve the issue within next week.

"If necessary, we will discuss it on Thursday, Friday, then Saturday and then Sunday until we can come out with a resolution," Panganiban said.

House Speaker Jose de Venecia, who was one of the guests invited by the Supreme Court to the Global Forum on Liberty and Prosperity which opened today, said he has talked to some justices in the Supreme Court on a number of occasions.

But it was hard to tell whether they were in favor or against the people's initiative.

"They keep their cards very close to their chests," de Venecia said.

De Venecia who has been pushing charter change initiative said the pressure need not come from him.

"The pressure is from the local government units ... from statements in television and radio, from the religious leaders. By God, it will be very insensitive for the Supreme Court to ignore all these," he said.

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