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    Posted January 22, 2014 by

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    Aquino didn’t meddle, Phl official says

    A Philippine official on Wednesday reiterated that President Benigno Aquino III never influenced or bribed Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. into voting for the impeachment of former chief justice Renato Corona in 2012.
    Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio B. Coloma Jr. clarified this in a media briefing following Revilla’s privilege speech in the Senate on Monday which implied that the President did so.
    “It is totally out of character for the President to speak in that language,” Coloma said, referring to the President’s alleged meddling with the case when Revilla met with him in his official residence in Malacanang compound.
    “The President did not meddle, but all he requested was for Revilla to decide on the merits of the case with his conscience and the senator (Revilla) said, ‘I will do what is right,’” Coloma stressed.
    He stressed the President was merely concerned about interest groups that could influence the senators’ outcome of the impeachment trial. It was his duty as head of the executive department, he added.
    Citing the statement of interior and local government Secretary Manuel Roxas II, Coloma said the President is a political leader and he regularly discusses issues with senators, congressmen and local officials.
    “Senator Revilla went to the meeting on his own accord, without indication that he did it against his will,” he said, stressing that that there was no “impropriety” about the issue.
    Coloma called again on Revilla to respond to the people’s clamor for a full explanation on what happened to his priority development assistance fund (PDAF) allocation that he received from 2007 to 2009.
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