MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano was a fierce critic of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He has questioned her every move, from sealing the $US329-million NBN-ZTE deal to appointing Chief Justice Renato Corona amid an appointment ban.
Cayetano, like Sen. Francis Pangilinan, signed a resolution in 2010 saying that Arroyo should let her successor name the next chief justice.
But even his track record as a chief Arroyo critic does not automatically make Cayetano an ally of the Aquino administration. He has, in particular, blocked Aquino’s appointment of Sixto Brillantes as chairman of the Commission on Elections.
Cayetano doubs Brillantes’s nonpartisanship as the latter served as the lawyer of retired SC Justice Dante Tinga. Tinga has a pending electoral protest against Cayetano’s wife, incumbent Taguig Mayor Laarni Cayetano.
The same case, however, could also be used as a bargaining chip to clinch Cayetano’s vote in the impeachment trial against Chief Justice Renato Corona.
On one hand, though, Cayetano has also assailed the prosecution, asking its head Rep. Niel Tupas to resign after he disclosed evidence of properties allegedly owned by Corona to the public days before the trial began.
Yet, Cayetano is also one of the 7 senator-judges whom lawyers Homobono Adaza and Alan Paguia accused of being “biased” in favor of the prosecution.
Cayetano’s stand on the impeachment trial is as nebulous but as equally as important of that of his political party, Nacionalista. The Nacionalista Party has 4 members in the Senate, including Cayetano, who is also the minority leader.
With the Liberal Party needing more allies to secure Corona’s conviction (it takes 16 votes to convict the magistrate; LP only has 4 members), Cayetano and his NP block could be a sway vote in the impeachment trial.
Cayetano is also a former counsel of Lauro Vizconde, who said he is willing to testify in the impeachment trial against Corona. Vizconde said he had a meeting with Corona while the case on the killing of the former’s family is still pending before the High Tribunal. Corona admitted that he did indeed see Vizconde, but inadvertently, saying he did not know Vizconde was present in a meeting with an anti-crime organization.
Education: Took up political science in University of the Philippines, finished law in Ateneo
Profession: Lawyer. He is a senior partner in the Cayetano Sebastian Ata Dado & Cruz law firm
Senate committee: Chairman of committee on ethics and privileges
Current term: 2007 to 2013
Eligible for reelection? Yes. This is his first 6-year term in the Senate.
Political party: Nacionalista Party
Senate bloc: He is part of the minority, composed of her sister, Sen. Pia Cayetano and Sen. Joker Arroyo, and also belongs to the Nacionalista Party, which has senators Manuel Villar and Bongbong Marcos as members.
Role in the Estrada impeachment: Cayetano, as representative of Taguig, endorsed verified impeachment complaint against then President Joseph Estrada.
Position published or aired on Corona or on issues contained in the Articles of Impeachment: He wanted Arroyo and her husband, lawyer Jose Miguel, to stay in the country and face the investigation on charges of electoral sabotage. The Arroyo couple are accused of playing a role in the alleged cheating in the 2007 senatorial elections.
In 2011, the Department of Justice barred the Arroyo couple from going abroad pending preliminary investigation, but the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order allowing them to go. The government has defied this however. – Rappler.com
Sources: globalbalita.ph, www.abs-cbnnews.com, www.manilastandardtoday.com, www.gmanetwork.com, senate.gov.ph
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