Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan was disappointed that Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III made an erroneous comment that Liberal Party (LP) senators hampered the legislative works that prompted the Senate shake-up.
“How can work in the Senate be hampered by the now minority members, including four from the Liberal Party, when almost 70 percent (20 of 29) of the bills now a couple of steps into becoming a law are being defended by us?,” Pangilinan said.
“It is therefore inaccurate and factually erroneous to say that the reorganization was due to hampered work. On the contrary it was undertaken to ensure that the Senate toes the line on issues that may have a negative impact on the administration,” he said in a statement on Tuesday, February 28.
On Monday, Feb. 27 after the reorganization in the Senate, Pimentel said in a statement that 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 rants, ended up divided, according to Pimentel.
Pangilinan said the only instances that the majority were divided were on the issues of the Marcos burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, the extra-judicial killings, the investigation of corruption in the Bureau of Immigration, and the Lascañas testimony.
“In these instances the LP asserted the independence of the Senate and it was in these instances that Senators allied with Malacanang opposed our efforts,” he said.
Pangilinan also cited that two out of the administration’s three priorities–death penalty and the lowering of criminal age of responsibility — are with the justice committee and not with their committees.
He also said that the 2017 national budget were also opposed by non-LP senators, Senator Panfilo Lacson and Senator Sherwin Gatchalian.
With these issues, Pangilinan said that they will continue to support the policies of the administration for the welfare of the Filipinos.
“Rest assured, we will continue to support the policies of the administration that improve our people’s lives, as well as to speak out against State actions that threaten them and their livelihoods,” he said.
Pangilinan was replaced as chairman of the committee on agriculture by Sen.Cynthia Villar who is from Nacionalista Party, an ally of the administration.
The Liberal Party Senators and Sen. Risa Hontiveros were stripped off their leadership and chairmanship of major committees.
Senator Emmanuel “Manny Pacquiao” moved that the position of Senate president pro tempore be declared vacant.
With 17 votes, Senator Ralph Recto, who ran and won under the LP led coalition in 2016 elections replaced Sen. Drilon as the second ranking Senate leader.
READ: Senate strips anti-Duterte members of leadership, committee chairmanship