Arroyo warns impeachment crisis could lead to violence

PRESIDENT Arroyo on Friday warned the military against intervening in a standoff over a congressional move to sack Supreme Court chief justice Hilario Davide.

Three months after a failed military rebellion, the government appeared to be teetering on a constitutional crisis over an opposition-led move to impeach Davide for alleged misuse of state funds.

"The presidency has the will, the authority and the resources to quell any disorder or attempts at destabilization and we shall not hesitate to move decisively against those who will exploit this crisis to foment violence," Arroyo said in a statement.

Her allies have earlier warned that those behind the July 27 mutiny could use the standoff to goad generals to intervene.

Vice chief of staff Lieutenant General Rodolfo Garcia on Friday bluntly warned the armed forces to stay neutral.

"We don't need to add fire to the situation," he said. "We will not involve ourselves in a political issue."

A third of the House of Representatives want Davide impeached after he refused to open the judiciary's budget books to Congress.

The Senate is expected to put him on trial on Nov. 10 and potentially remove him from office, unless the two sides can reach a compromise.

Davide has rejected allegations of funds misuse and the Supreme Court issued a writ against the impeachment this week. AFP

31/10/2003

Bron : Sun Star

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