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|Wednesday, November 15, 2000, updated at 22:20(GMT+8)|
Manila Reiterates Call for Speedy Impeachment TrialThe Philippine government reiterated Wednesday its call to the lawmakers to speed up the impeachment trial of President Joseph Estrada amid reports that the opposition may derail the process to fan public discontent.
Executive Secretary Ronaldo Zamora expressed the hope that the political opposition would not resort to such desperate measures in its attempt to unseat President Estrada.
"What we are doing on our part is to urge them to speed up the trial so that it won't delay other pending matters that we have to attend to. Perhaps, what we should do is to agree to speed up the impeachment trial," he said in a statement.
Zamora reacted to reports quoting Senator John Osmena as saying that the oppositional Lakas-NUCD party is hatching a plan to delay the impeachment proceedings before the Senate to foment public unrest.
Estrada earlier urged administration lawmakers in the house and senate to speed up the impeachment trial against him so that he can have his day in court and the opportunity to clear his name of the charges hurled against him.
Despite the procedural flaws that attended Monday's transmittal of the impeachment complaint by the House of Representatives to the Senate, lawmakers belonging to the ruling LAMP said they will no longer question this aspect so as to fast-track the proceedings.
The impeachment trial was triggered by allegations of a provincial governor that Estrada received millions of US dollars in illegal gambling payoffs and tax kickbacks.
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