Press Release
May 21, 2010


Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago is seeking to inhibit herself from the Senate panel of the joint congressional committee to canvass the votes cast for presidential and vice-presidential candidates in the 10 May 2010 elections.

The recently reelected senator sent a letter yesterday (21 May 2010) to Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile requesting for her exclusion from the Senate contingent, citing her being a guest candidate of four political parties.

"During the last campaign, I was registered as candidate of the People's Reform Party. But I also ran as guest candidate of: NP, PMP, NPC, and Lakas-Kampi," Santiago wrote in her letter.

Santiago said that all parties where she ran as guest candidate conceded the presidential elections, except for former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada.

"I might be suspect if I sit in the Senate panel, because I ran with, among others, his PMP national ticket," she said.

A former RTC judge, Santiago pointed out that when judges voluntarily desist from sitting in a case in which their motives or fairness might be in question, their action is to be interpreted as an exercise of sound discretion.

"Under the law, a judge's decision to voluntarily inhibit from a case is a matter of conscience, and springs primarily from the judge's sense of fairness and justice. In the same way, members of the joint congressional canvass committee should exercise prudence in order to maintain and strengthen the voters' faith in our electoral process," Santiago said.

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