Turning the Senate into a temporary boxing ring of sorts, ‘Pambansang Kamao’ Senator Manny Pacquiao ‘knocks’ out several Liberal Party (LP) senators from their posts.
As the session opened at around 3:30 PM today, Pacquiao immediately moved to declare Senate President Pro Tempore Franklin Drilon’s position vacant. Everyone expected Drilon to protest the move but when he stood up after Pacquiao’s motion, it was only to second the motion.
Drilon said, “I will not interpellate Senator Pacquiao. I second the motion.”
The Senate took a quick break. When the session resumed, Pacquiao once again took the floor to nominate Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto to Drilon’s freshly vacated position. Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero seconded the motion.
Of the 23 senators in attendance, 17 voted for Recto to replace Drilon.
The minority bloc chairmanship was passed on to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, reports GMA News.
But Pacquiao was not finished with handing out knockouts to Liberal Party (LP) senators [although Recto is actually an LP member]. He also moved to have the chairmanship of the committees on education, agriculture, and health vacated – these posts are notably held by LP members.
Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero replaced education chair Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV; Senator Cynthia Villar replaced agriculture chair Senator Francis Pangilinan, and Senator JV Ejercito replaced health chair Senator Risa Hontiveros.
Hontiveros is not an LP member but is known to a close ally of the political party.
The four senators who were stripped of their positions were spotted marching along with former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III during the commemoration of the EDSA People power celebration which was also widely known as an anti-Duterte protest [even if LP might deny it].
The senators did not protest the ‘knock out’ but Bam Aquino said, “If this is the price to pay for showing up at the streets of EDSA, for talking about democracy, if this is the price to pay, I’d gladly pay the price.”
All four moved to join the minority bloc which is now headed by Trillanes.