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Philippine President Asks Senate to Speed Up His Impeachment Trial

November 19, 2000|From Associated Press

MANILA — Philippine President Joseph Estrada, accused of accepting illegal gambling payoffs, urged the Senate on Saturday to speed up his impeachment trial and appealed to protesters for calm.

The Senate plans to issue a summons to Estrada on Monday, a week after he was impeached by the House of Representatives, instructing him to answer the allegations in 10 days. The nation's first such impeachment trial is expected to begin early next month.

"I have long waited for this, since the first allegations were made against me," Estrada said. "At last, I will be given an opportunity to reveal the whole truth in the proper forum."

Estrada has denied that he has accepted payoffs.

On Saturday, he appealed to the country's 22 senators to speed up the impeachment process so that the Philippine economy can move forward. The crisis has hurt business confidence and financial markets.

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