LP booted out of Senate majority

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LIBERAL Party senators were kicked out of the pro-Duterte Senate majority coalition on Monday in a surprise knockout instigated by neophyte Sen. Manny Pacquiao.

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The majority bloc led by Senate President Aquilino Pimentel 3rd stripped the Liberal senators of their positions, with Sen. Franklin Drilon losing the Senate president pro-tempore post to Sen. Ralph Recto, who switched to the majority from being the minority leader.

For months, Drilon’s Liberal bloc managed to remain in the majority while being critical of the Duterte government’s moves such as the push for the death penalty bill, the war on drugs and the burial of former president Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Liberal Party interim president Francis Pangilinan said their expulsion from the majority was not unexpected, adding: “We saw the writing on the wall.”

Senators Drilon, Pangilinan, Paolo Benigno Aquino 4th and Risa Hontiveros joined Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th in the minority.

In Monday’s plenary session, Pacquiao moved to declare vacant Drilon’s Senate president pro tempore post, the second highest perch in the chamber.

Drilon did not object. “I will not interpellate Senator Pacquiao. I second the motion,” he said.

Pacquiao, after a brief suspension of the session, nominated Recto to replace Drilon, which was supported by a majority of senators.

Those who voted for Recto as the new Senate president pro tempore were Pimentel, Majority Leader Vicente Sotto 3rd, Nancy Binay, Alan Peter Cayetano, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Francis Escudero, Sherwin Gatchalian, Richard Gordon, Gregorio Honasan 2nd, Panfilo Lacson, Loren Legarda, Francis Pangilinan, Grace Poe, Joel Villanueva, Cynthia Villar and Juan Miguel Zubiri.

Recto said his position as minority leader would be given to Trillanes.

Pacquiao then moved to declare as vacant the chairmanships of the committees on health and demography; agriculture and food; and education, arts and culture.

The Senate committee on health was chaired by Hontiveros, the agriculture committee by Pangilinan, and the committee on education by Aquino.

They were replaced by Ejercito, Villar and Escudero, respectively.

‘Price to pay’

Pangilinan said the Liberal bloc discussed a looming Senate revamp over the weekend, believing the Duterte administration would not tolerate anyone who opposed it on issues such as the death penalty and the drug war.

Aquino agreed, describing the incident as a political move. The Liberals, he noted, were also adamant on other issues like the lowering of the age on criminal liability and support for their party mate Sen. Leila de Lima, a leading critic of the drug war who was jailed last Friday on drug trafficking charges.

“If this is the price to pay for my independence, then so be it,” Aquino said.

Hontiveros said that if staying with the majority meant supporting a regime that does not respect human rights, then she would willingly join the minority.

“This new development will not hinder me from pushing for universal healthcare for our people or intimidate me from defending democracy and human rights,” she added.

‘Obsessed with power’

Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo on Monday deplored the Senate revamp and said the Duterte administration was obsessed with power,

Robredo, the interim chairwoman of the Liberal Party who was herself stripped of her Cabinet post in
December after opposing the Marcos burial, said the Duterte administration was incapable of tolerating dissent, “no matter how constructive.”

“What happened in the Senate today is characteristic of an administration obsessed with monopolizing power and intent on marginalizing those who have opposing views. This has happened before. In the past, this paved the way for a one-man rule,” Robredo said, referring to the Marcos regime.

“Democracy demands dissent. We will not be silenced. Our nation deserves no less,” she added.

WITH LLANESCA T. PANTI

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21 Comments

  1. aladin g. villacorte on

    One sunny Monday afternoon in late February all five LP senators were unceremoniously stripped of their committee chairmanship. Everybody suspected Malacanang had a direct hand in it but nobody was telling. Not one from the majority coalition, not even Manny Pacquiao, the designated hitman, would admit to who instigated the party slaughter.

    It calls to mind the infamous St. Valentine’s Day massacre back in the ole days of Al Capone when seven men were lined up against the wall and gunned down execution-style. Although the authorities had no witness most everybody believed that “only Capone kills like that”. But no one was brave enough to speak out. One of the victims survived long enough to tell the police “No one shot me.”

  2. Stop the politicking, wake up and address the real issues that affects the country. The anti drug campaign should take a back seat from job creation and national security. The anti drug campaign should go hand in hand with anti illegal gun drive. Wake up people du30 is just using the anti drug campaign as a diversionary tactics. He already sold the country to Communist China. How can an ignorant phsycho killer become the head of ASEAN.Who’s behind this, and why?

  3. they bastardized liberal party bigtime due to their loyalty to the yellows. the yellow, symbolises by its twisted form, will remain twisted forever….i’ve totally lost respect to these people….

  4. Defiant and denial to the end these LPs. Always claiming that this administration is obsessed when they themselves are the ones who craves it the most.

    As the VP, this Robredo should be helping the government in its fight for reforms, NOT every now and then hearing from them criticisms and conspiracy theories supposedly hatched by them. What kind of people are these guys?

  5. Sa lahat ng empleyado ng mamamayang Pilipino ay si Leni Robredo ang pinakamataas ang sahod na inutil! Bakit sa iba ang empleyado na walang ginagawang kapakipakinabang sa kompanya ay tinatanggal pero sa gobyerno ay patuloy na pinasasahod natin kahit wala nang ginagawa ay perwisyo pa?

  6. VP Robredo needs to work hand in hand with the present administration not the other way around, being a critics does not promote harmony, she is paid by the people’s money to support the administration in building our country. Instead of spending her time on watching and observing the work of PDU30 she should seriously focused on projects that could improve the lives of our less fortunate fellow citizens. I understand that this is also her wish to eradicate poverty.

    • Yes, she has definitely eradicated poverty in families left by the main provider after death. Some are even rewarded with national positions, new mansion, new cars, bodyguards, trips abroad, etc

  7. We’re happy about it. But do not mistake yellow comments as “constructive” because they give delusional comments for personal gain.

  8. Who is Obsessed with power…. Is it the Yellows who would join the majority to stay in power and be the opposition all at the same time?

  9. What? Obssesed with power? When Noynoy bribed the whole senate except three to find Justice Corona guilty of an imagined offense, what did Jessie and Leni say? My God, t5hese yellow bellied hypocrites are really going down so low to parrot what their unico hijo de puta is saying privately.

  10. This is politics and the LP should not whine about something that Ninoy even did to the Supreme Court and I am saying this, even though I did not vote for Duterte.

  11. The use of “Liberal Party” and “constructive dissent” in a positive tone is in the same sentence is a gross contradiction in terms. These Yellow politicans have NOTHING to contribute and do not deserve to be called an honorable Opposition.

  12. We are watching the remnants of the dying corpse of the LP slowly rot. It is good they removed the stink from the Chairmanships.

  13. Nag wait and see lang ang Administrasyung Duterte kung may apeal paba sa MASA ang EDSA peoples power parang wala na kahit anong panawagan nang mga LP kamag anak nalang yata nila yung mga nagpunta at mga Blind Follower, at Mas marami ang sumoporta sa Pangulo kaya perfect timing na i raid ang mga LP ganun lang ka simple,

  14. Kahit ano pa ang sabihin mo robredo, walang maniniwala sa yo lalo na’t ang mga sinasabi mo ay walang mga katuturan! obsessed in power ka dyan! willing ngang mag resign ang pangulo kung talagang malakas kayo pero wala na kasing naniniwala sa mga drama nyo kaya kung ako sa inyo, you watch and learn!!!