Miriam: No politics in admonishing Tupas
Iloilo City — Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago said yesterday that local politics in Iloilo had nothing to do when she dressed down Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas Jr., the lead prosecutor in the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona, at Tuesday’s hearing at the Senate.
“I don’t meddle in local politics,” Santiago said, sounding amused, in a telephone interview with radio station Bombo Radyo Iloilo.
Attending the impeachment trial for the first time on Tuesday, Santiago, a former regional trial court judge who was elected a judge on the International Criminal Court last year, admonished Tupas for not knowing exactly how many witnesses and pieces of documentary evidence the prosecution planned to present.
Santiago said in the radio interview that the prosecution should always come prepared so as not to “waste the time of the senators and the public.”
The senator, who hails from Iloilo, said she only wanted a speedy trial and was not motivated by political biases.
“It has nothing to do with the political rivalry between my cousin (Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor) and his family and the Tupas family,” Santiago said.
Defensor, a stalwart of the Lakas-Kampi, defeated former mayor Raul Tupas of Barotac Viejo, the younger brother of the congressman, in the 2010 gubernatorial race.
Defensor’s son and namesake, Iloilo Rep. Arthur Defensor Jr., also defeated Rene Villa, a close ally of the Tupas family and President Aquino in the Liberal Party, for the congressional seat of Iloilo’s third district. /INQUIRER
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