PALACE FINDS MIRIAM BLAST ON POE A BIT TOO MUCH

MANILA,  JUNE 5, 2004
(MALAYA) 
By JOCELYN MONTEMAYOR  -  Malacaņang yesterday distanced itself from the scathing remarks by Senator-elect Miriam Defensor-Santiago aimed at Fernando Poe Jr. on Thursday.

"We don't necessarily share everything or we don't necessarily agree with everything that she had said. We agree with some, we disagree with others," said Ignacio Bunye, presidential spokesman.

But he backed off when asked for specifics.

Bunye said that as President Arroyo's legal counsel in the canvassing process, Santiago's job is to raise the issues with respect to the canvassing.

Santiago had suggested that Poe accept defeat, run for president in another country, or go back to making movies.

She advised Poe to file a complaint before the presidential electoral tribunal which she did when Fidel Ramos was proclaimed in 1992. Ramos then had a winning margin of less than 800,000 votes.

Rufus Rodriguez, a former Immigration commissioner and counsel of the Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino, said Santiago's remarks were unbecoming of a lady senator, uncalled for, and condescending.

Sen. Aquilino Pimentel also dismissed Santiago's "unsolicited advice" to the KNP to stop its opposition to a joint canvassing committee.

"We will not abandon our right to invoke the Constitution and the law in the canvassing of the election returns for president and vice president. We will fight every inch of the way," he said.

Rodriguez said Santiago "prejudged" the petition filed by the opposition. "She should just help the respondents prepare their comments on the petition," he said.

Homobono Adaza, a former assemblyman and counsel of the Filipinos for Peace and Justice Movement, said Santiago should not arrogate for herself the powers of the Supreme Court by claiming to speak for it.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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