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|Friday, December 08, 2000, updated at 16:10(GMT+8)|
Manila Optimistic Senate Trial to Help Ease Pressure on PesoThe Philippine government said Friday, December 8, that it is hopeful that the peaceful start of the impeachment trial of President Joseph Estrada would help ease the pressure on the peso.
Executive Secretary Ronaldo Zamora said in a radio speech that the peaceful nature of the mass actions held Thursday, the start of the trial, should convince foreign investors that the constitutional process is in place.
"We think that with the public and foreign investors seeing for themselves that a peaceful process is now in place, perhaps the peso can recover a little," Zamora said.
He described Thursday's trial, as well as the mass actions by pro-and anti-administration groups, as devoid of violence.
In the meantime, Zamora said the government continues to implement economic reforms, amid the ongoing trial, to curb the budget deficit next year.
The impeachment trial of President Estrada started Thursday afternoon in the Senate, which is the first ever impeachment hearing against a sitting president of the Philippines.
Estrada will be tried on four different charges: bribery, corruption, betrayal of public trust, and culpable violation of the constitution.
The crisis is trigged by South Ilococs Governor Luis Singson's accusation that the president took millions of US dollars in illegal gambling money and tobacco tax kickbacks.
As the Senate began its impeachment trial, tens of thousands of people gathered outside the senate building demanding the ouster of the president, but no violence has appeared.
Philippine Senate Opens Estrada Impeachment TrialThe Philippine Senate opened the impeachment trial of President Joseph Estrada on Thursday on corruption and bribery charges which could lead to his removal from office.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide slammed the gavel on a wooden table in the packed Senate session hall to start the trial, as 15,000 protesters demanding Estrada"s resignation massed outside the heavily guarded, seaside venue. "The impeachment of his excellency, the president of the Philippines, is now called to order," Davide said.
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