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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 November, 2003, 08:50 GMT
Philippines Congress backs court
Philippine Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide
Moves against Chief Justice Davide divided the country
The Philippines Congress has backed a Supreme Court ruling and voted against impeaching the country's top judge.

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives voted by 115 to 77 not to proceed against Chief Justice Hilario Davide.

The opposition had been seeking an impeachment trial in the Senate over allegations he misused public funds.

The vote was a victory for President Gloria Arroyo. But with elections due next May, further rows are likely.

"This is a historic win for the Filipino people," said President Arroyo.

The moves against Chief Justice Davide created serious divisions in the country

Former leaders became embroiled in the controversy, with supporters of ousted President Joseph Estrada demanding impeachment, while former president Corazon Aquino joined the Catholic Church in rallies against it.

The currency and the stock market suffered as a result of the process, as did proposed reforms to try and stop a decline in foreign investment.

The crisis began last month when opposition members began impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Davide for alleged mismanagement of a judicial fund.

The judge denied the allegations and said the congress members were overstepping their authority.

Profile: Gloria Arroyo
28 Jul 03  |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: The Philippines
05 Nov 03  |  Country profiles
Arroyo U-turn on re-election
04 Oct 03  |  Asia-Pacific

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