GMA News Online

Trillanes to Santiago: Reconsider expulsion bid

December 3, 2007 3:24pm

Embattled Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV on Monday asked administration Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago to reconsider her bid to have the former military officer expelled from the Senate, reminding the latter that she once faced the same situation he is currently embroiled in.

Trillanes' lawyer and chief of staff Reynaldo Robles said last week's walkout from a Makati courtroom and the resulting six-hour standoff at The Peninsula hotel had nothing to do with the former's work as senator.

"Wala itong kinalaman sa paglingkod niya bilang senador (What Trillanes did in Makati had nothing to do with his work as a senator)," Robles said in an interview on dzBB radio.

Besides, Robles said Santiago had found herself in hot water six years ago, when she called on supporters of former President Joseph Estrada to march to MalacaƱang against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Robles said his client, who was among those charged by the Justice department with rebellion, is "appealing" to Santiago to think twice about her bid to expel him.

"Papakiusapan si Sen. Santiago na pagaralang mabuti kung kailangan bang file-an ng kasong expulsion (My client is asking Sen. Santiago to reconsider her decision to seek his expulsion)," he said.

Earlier, Santiago formally filed a resolution urging the Senate to punish Trillanes for Thursday's standoff in Makati City.

In Senate Resolution 228, Santiago cited Rule 34, Sec. 97 of the Senate Rules stating that the Senate ethics committee can punish a senator with suspension or expulsion.

"Be it resolved that the Senate committee on ethics and privileges should meet immediately and recommend the proper punishment for Sen. Trillanes, for disorderly behavior and unparliamentary acts and language, including if necessary his suspension or expulsion from the
Senate," she said in her resolution.

On the other hand, Santiago cited Art. II, Sec. 3 of the 1987 Constitution where civilian authority is at all times supreme over the military.

But Senate President Manuel Villar Jr reiterated it would be difficult for Santiago to get her colleagues to expel Trillanes from the Senate.

"Kailangan 2/3 or 16 votes papunta sa explusion (You need 2/3 or 16 votes for expulsion)," Villar said in an interview on dzBB radio Monday afternoon. - GMANews.TV
Go to comments