The removal of the chairmanship of Liberal Party senators on Monday, February 27 was merely a “political move”, said Senator Bam Aquino in an interview.
“This is really a political move – a partisan move,” he said on Monday.
Senators Aquino, Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Risa Hontiveros, and Franklin Drilon were removed from their committee chairmanship.
Aquino was removed as chairman of the Education Committee and was replaced by Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero.
“Hindi naman ito tungkol sa performance ng mga kumite kasi gumagana naman ang mga importanteng batas sa aming committees,” he said.
(It has nothing to do with the performance of the committees because important bills are being tackled in our committees.)
“Palagay ko, nasampolan kami because we’ve been very adamant about policies like the death penalty. Tutol kami doon. Iyong pagbaba ng age of criminal liability. Iyong pagsuporta kay Senator [Leila] De Lima. Iyong pagpunta namin sa Edsa. Iyong pagsabi namin na nakakabahala na iyong patayan sa ating bayan,” the senator said.
(I think it was meant for us because we’ve been adamant about policies like the death penalty. We oppose that. The lowering of age of criminal liability.. Our support to Senator de Lima. Our attendance at Edsa (celebration). Our statements that the (extrajudicial) killings were alarming in our country.)
Aquino also said on Monday that he would accept the decision if that is the price he would pay for his independence.
“If this is the price to pay to show up on the streets of EDSA, talking about democracy, talking about the issues of violence on our streets… If this is the price to pay, I gladly pay the price”.
Drilon, Pangilinan, and Aquino were members of the Liberal Party. While Akbayan representative Hontiveros also ran under LP during the May 2016 elections.
The four senators joined the commemoration of the 31st People Power anniversary or the EDSA Revolution on Feb. 25 at the People Power Monument.
The four senators on Monday said that they would gladly join the Senate minority group along with Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.