‘Work in the Senate Has Been Hampered by the Blurring of the Lines’ Says Koko Pimentel

Senate President Koko Pimentel III on the sacking of members of the Liberal Party in the Senate: Clear lines must be drawn.

‘Koko’ Pimentel said on Monday, February 27 that members of the Liberal Party (LP) were ousted from their key posts because ‘clear lines’ have to be drawn in the Senate.

‘Work in the Senate has been hampered by the blurring of the lines between the majority and the minority to the detriment of public interest.

There have been instances where the majority, instead of closing ranks, ended up divided, Pimentel said.

This was the decision of the majority of the senators, to best achieve the Senate’s legislative agenda, clear lines have to be drawn, he added.

During the plenary session, Senator Franklin Drilon was removed as Senate President Pro Tempore, the second highest post next to Pimentel. Drilon was replaced by Senator Ralph Recto.

Senator Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan is replaced by Senator Cynthia Villar as chairperson of Senate Agricultue committee.

Paolo Benigno ‘Bam’ Aquino IV is replaced by Senator Francis Escudero as chairperson of Education committee.

Senator Risa Hontiveros, a member of the Akbayan Party that is closely allied with the LP was replaced as chair of the Senate health committee by JV Ejercito.

Pimentel, president of ruling party PDP-Laban, assured that the Senate will remain independent and true to its role as the last bastion of democracy in our country.

Senator Pangilinan said the recent development proves that the Duterte administration cannot handle criticisms.

He said the administration, including the President’s allies in the Senate, were responsible for their ouster.

Meanwhile, Drilon said that the LP were supportive of Pimentel’s run for the top leadership post in the Senate.

Asked what does their ouster speak of Pimentel, Drilon said: He would rather leave that to those who reorganized them out of the majority but the move did not come as a surprise to him.

After 19 years in the Senate nothing surprises him anymore…The majority decided, then be it; when you become part of the majority, it’s a numbers game, said Drilon.