MANILA, Philippines – The Senate session hall will be packed for the testimony of Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Senate Sergeant at Arms Jose Balajadia told reporters that the Senate added tickets for those who want to watch Corona’s testimony on Tuesday, May 22.
From the initial 175 guests, the Senate will accommodate 200 spectators.
“The tickets depend on the space we have inside …. so that’s all we can [accommodate]. That’s already the maximum for the guests,” Balajadia said in Filipino.
Balajadia said priority will be given to senior citizens. Tickets will be distributed outside the Senate gates starting 10:30 or 11 in the morning.
Rules for spectators remain unchanged. Streamers, banners and statement shirts are banned from the session hall.
Aside from spectators, the Session hall will be filled with senators’ staff, journalists and Corona’s family and guests.
Balajadia reminded spectators to observe proper decorum.
“There should be no clapping. They should remember that the Senate is not an opera house,” he said in Filipino.
Protests only until Film Center
Balajadia said the Senate added security forces for Corona’s testimony but refused to give a figure. He said protesters will only be allowed near the Manila Film Center, far from the Senate gates.
“Because remember there are parked cars coming into the Senate. We don’t want a repeat of past incidents where the cars were scratched or the rearview mirrors got broken because of protesters. That’s unfair to the owners.”
The Southern Police District and security guards will be in charge of ensuring that the protests are peaceful and orderly.
As for Corona, Balajadia will consult Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile on which holding room will be allotted for the Chief Justice.
The sergeant at arms only said that Corona will be passing through the “usual route” going inside the building. – Rappler.com