Oust me? Just do it, Pimentel dares Trillanes
Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Saturday said he was willing to be replaced as the leader of the chamber if Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV could secure the support of at least 12 more senators in his bid to oust him.
He also dared Trillanes to do it the soonest so that the Senate could be immediately revamped and return to work amid hearings on priority bills, including the national budget for next year and the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion.
“It’s OK if I will be removed from my post. Don’t announce it to the public anymore. Just do it so that the Senate will be reorganized at once and it can go back to work under a new Senate president,” Pimentel said in a radio interview on Saturday.
“If he can convince 12 more senators, then he should be the one to organize the Senate,” he added.
In the same breath, he also urged his colleagues not to engage in “pure politics” and do their job as elected officials. “I know many enjoy in political drama but let’s go back to basic, let’s work on the budget and tax [reform bill],” Pimentel said.
Trillanes had earlier threatened to work for his ouster if he continued to keep Sen. Richard Gordon as chair of the powerful Senate blue ribbon committee, which is handling the investigation on the smuggled P6.4-billion “shabu” (crystal meth) shipment that slipped past the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in May.
The two senators had a verbal clash after Trillanes called Gordon’s committee as “comité de absuelto” for initially refusing to invite Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and brother-in-law lawyer Manases Carpio, who were linked to smuggling activities in the BOC.
Pimentel yesterday said Gordon would stay as chair of the blue ribbon committee, stressing that the latter did not ask to be assigned to lead the committee.
He further explained that the chair of the committee should be a lawyer but all the others who were fit for the post were already swamped with work, naming Sen. Sonny Angara and Sen. Francis Escudero.
Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Sen. Leila de Lima would also have been qualified, but both were from the minority and the latter was also in detention, he pointed out.
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