Aquino, Sin defend Davide

By Blanche S. Rivera, Alcuin Papa and the PDI Northern Luzon, Southern Luzon and Visayas Bureaus
Inquirer News Service

Pro-Davide rally

FOR THE FIRST time in almost three years, former President Corazon Aquino will be marching in the streets -- this time to defend the integrity of Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr.

Aquino, one of the two leaders instrumental in the People Power uprisings of February 1986 and January 2001, will speak at the protest rally scheduled at 2 p.m. Monday at the Batasang Pambansa complex in Quezon City, to show her support for Davide.

The other leader, Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin, also defended Davide, whom he called "one of the most trusted Filipinos after EDSA II."

Sin, the influential prelate who called on the people to rally to EDSA (Epifanio delos Santos Avenue) in 1986 and 2001, called on the Catholic faithful to pray for Davide in this "time of trial."

Last week, the Supreme Court chief was impeached by more than one-third of the members of the House of Representatives, many of them identified with businessman Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco Jr., chairman of San Miguel Corp.

Aquino and Cojuangco are first cousins.

Lourdes Siytangco, Aquino's spokesperson, confirmed the ex-President's attendance at the rally, which was publicized through a heavy text campaign.

Protest rallies will also be staged across the Visayas, throughout Central Luzon, and in the Southern Tagalog region.

And in San Fernando, Pampanga, a city which hosts two San Miguel complexes, the campaign to boycott SMC products was backed both by business leaders and a congressman.

Numerous pro-Davide text messages continued the swirl through the country's cell phone systems. One even purported to give the cell phone number of "Dishonorable Cong. Gilbert Teodoro who led Davide's impeachment." It added: "Please call him or text him your dismay at him. Pls. pass."

The Visayas

In Cebu, Davide's home province, a noise barrage, a protest caravan and street rallies are scheduled Monday.

Judges, court employees, businessmen, people from the religious group and other sectors will also wear black Monday.

Cebu Regional Trial Court Executive Judge Pampio Abarintos said judges and court employees nationwide would continue to wear black shirts, armbands or ribbons until Congress withdraws the impeachment case or until the Senate decides to stop the impeachment trial.

Abarintos did not discount the possibility of suspending court operations. This will depend, he said, "if the situation calls for it."

Cebu Governor Pablo Garcia said he would not impose the wearing of black among Capitol employees but provincial workers were free to wear black at work.

Davide supporters will meet at 5 p.m. at the Redemptorist Church grounds, in an activity spearheaded by the newly organized Citizens for Judicial Independence.

Carlos Co, president of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said he and other representatives from different business organizations would join the meeting.

Cebu City Representative Raul del Mar said he and other legislators would make a last-ditch effort Monday to stop the transmission of the impeachment complaint.

In Bacolod City, the Peace Advocates of Negros (Pan), an organization of society groups, called for the "impeachment from our votes" of Negrense members of the House of Representatives who signed the impeachment complaint.

27/10/2003

Bron : Inq7.net

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