Pacquiao coached by Duterte in ousting LP from Senate majority—solons
Two opposition representatives chided Senator Manny Pacquiao for acting like a coached lawmaker in moving for the ouster of Liberal Party (LP) senators from the majority coalition.
In a press conference at the House of Representatives, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman and Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin chided Pacquiao, a boxing champion turned senator, for moving for the LP’s ouster from the majority based on the instructions of a coach, who is no other than President Rodrigo Duterte.
Pacquiao himself admitted that his fellow senators sans the LP lawmakers met in his house Sunday night to plot the ouster. Pacquiao denied that he is acting on Duterte’s orders.
“Si Manny Pacquiao, sanay ‘yan sa coach sa boxing arena. Mayroon din siyang coach sa Senate session hall. Palagay ko, no less than President Duterte,” Lagman said.
(Manny Pacquiao is used to being coached in the boxing arena. He also has a coach in the Senate session hall. For me, that’s no less than President Duterte.)
Lagman berated Pacquiao for still acting like a coached athlete now that he is a senator.
“Kung sanay ka sa trainer, hindi ka pwedeng gumalaw na walang trainer,” Lagman said.
(If you’re used to a trainer, you can’t just move without a trainer.)
Villarin said Pacquiao’s move to oust the LP senators bore the “Malacañang stamp” of approval.
“Manny Pacquiao is on the same page with President Duterte. Kung ano man ang i-utos, si Manny, mabilis mag-volunteer yan (Whatever the orders, Manny is quick to volunteer),” Villarin said.
The LP senators Franklin Drilon, Francis Pangilinan, and Benigno Paolo “Bam” Aquino IV as well as Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros were stripped of their chairperson posts because of some senators’ sentiment that the four of them were voting against many issues backed by the majority.
It was Pacquiao who also moved to declare the position of the human rights committee chairperson vacant, ousting known administration critic Senator Leila De Lima, who led a Senate investigation into the vigilante group Davao Death Squad linked to President Duterte when he was mayor.
De Lima is now arrested and detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center due to drug-related charges according to testimonies of high-profile Bilibid inmates.
De Lima is accused of raising campaign funds from the Bilibid drug trade when she was Justice Secretary.
De Lima is a critic of President Duterte’s drug war, which started all the way back when she was a human rights chief who investigated the vigilante killings in Davao City when Duterte was mayor. JE/rga