Senators met in Pacquiao house for Senate reorganization
At least 16 senators met in Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao’s house in Makati City last Sunday night to plan the reorganization in the Senate that led to the removal of Liberal Party (LP) senators and allies from their key posts in the chamber.
Pacquiao himself disclosed this on Tuesday, a day after three LP senators—Franklin Drilon, Francis Pangilinan, and Benigno Paolo “Bam” Aquino IV, and Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros — were stripped of their posts.
“Napag-usapan, napag discussan na para marami tayong magawa na trabaho dito sa Senado e kelangan ma-identify na yung sa atin, sa atin. Yung hindi, hindi (We have talked about and discussed that for us to be able to accomplish a lot of work in the Senate, we need to identify our allies. Those who are not our allies are not our allies),” the neophyte senator told reporters.
“Actually doon na namin pinag usapan lahat (We talked about everything),” he said.
Pacquiao said President Rodrigo Duterte had nothing to do with the reorganization. This was contrary to LP senators’ reported claim that the Palace had a hand in the majority’s decision to kick them out of their posts.
“Walang kinalaman dito ang Pangulo. Hndi tayo makakagawa ng trabaho dito sa Senado kung hindi natin gaganunin (The President has nothing to do with it. We won’t be able to accomplish our work in the Senate if there would be no reorganization),” Pacquiao said.
“Ako ayaw ko ng pulitika. Nandito tayo para magtrabaho para sa taumbayan, hindi yung puro porma -porma tayo, pamumulitika. Gawa tayo ng trabaho dito, hindi yung dalhin natin yung pulitika ito, wala pang eleksyon (I don’t like politics. We are here to work for our people, not just focus on politics. Let’s do our work, we should not bring politics here when it’s not elections yet).”
It would be unfair, he said, for the President and Malacañang to say that they were behind the move against the LP.
“Kasi feeling namin, napapaikutan kami sa ulo at feeling namin na binabaril namin yung kalaban sa harapan, hindi namin alam yung kalaban namin binabaril din kami sa likod namin…So ganun ang feeling namin (We thought we are being fooled. We shoot our enemies in front but we don’t know that our enemies are shooting us at the back),’ Pacquiao said.
“Kasama mo e un ang bumabaril sa’yo so ano yun (Your ally is shooting you, so what’s that)?” he further asked.
A senator, who attended the meeting but spoke on condition of anonymity, clarified that the reorganization was hatched and agreed in one sitting.
The senator said there was a growing sentiment against the LP senators being part of the majority when they voted against it on many issues. RAM/rga