Aquino briefs McCain group on the ‘hot thing’ in the news | Global News

Aquino briefs McCain group on the ‘hot thing’ in the news

President Aquino welcomes to Malacañang on Tuesday four prominent American senators—Joe Lieberman (left), John McCain, Sheldon Whitehouse and Kelly Ayotte. McCain ran against President Barack Obama in the 2008 US presidential election. Lieberman was Al Gore’s running mate in the 2000 White House race. GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

It was the “hot thing” in the news, hence President Benigno Aquino III took the time to brief a visiting group of US lawmakers about the ongoing impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda yesterday said Mr. Aquino had a “good discussion” Tuesday night in Malacañang with the American dignitaries led by US Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman, covering both bilateral concerns and issues internal to the Philippines, like the historic Corona trial at the Senate.

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“Because that’s the hot thing going on right now,” Lacierda simply said to explain why the President brought up the trial in the meeting.

But Lacierda said not much of an exchange happened between the President and the US senators on that topic. “They were just briefed. Of course, as what (US) Secretary of State (Hilary) Clinton (had) mentioned, they will not be involved in the internal events in the Philippines,” he stressed.

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In the weeks leading to Corona’s impeachment at the House and trial at the Senate, President Aquino had openly sought the removal of the Chief Justice, whom he had accused of being biased in several high court rulings favoring former President and now detained Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Tuesday’s meeting, which was also attended by Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, centered on issues of mutual concern to the Philippines and the US, such as the security situation in the West Philippine Sea (or what China calls South China Sea), Lacierda told reporters.

Lacierda also reported that McCain “lauded” President Aquino for his high approval rating. Lieberman, on the other hand, said he was “impressed with the way the President was running the country with his efforts on good governance,” the Palace spokesperson recalled.

Originally posted at 03:47 pm | Wednesday, January 18, 2012

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TAGS: Albert Del Rosario, Benigno Aquino III, chief justice, Corona Impeachment, Department of Defense, Department of Foreign Affairs, Diplomacy, Edwin Lacierda, Foreign affairs, Government, Impeachment, John McCain, Joseph Lieberman, Judiciary, Malacañang, military international relations, Philippines, Politics, Presidency, Renato Corona, Spratly Islands, Supreme Court, US, US Senate, Voltaire Gazmin
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