No threat to Senate leadership: More senators quash alleged ouster plot vs Zubiri
MANILA, Philippines — There is no threat to the Senate presidency of Juan Miguel Zubiri, according to several senators who reaffirmed their support for the chamber’s chief.
Senators Jinggoy Estrada, Robin Padilla, and JV Ejercito on Monday dismissed rumors of an alleged plot to unseat Zubiri as the head of the upper house.
Estrada said there is “no truth” to supposed talks of him replacing Zubiri, noting that he has no idea how his name was dragged into such rumors.
“There are no talks of a coup d’etat in the Senate. The supermajority – the members of the majority – are fully supportive of Senate President Migz Zubiri,” he said partly in Filipino during the Kapihan sa Senado.
Estrada said he has no plans of moving to oust Zubiri from his post as he touted the stability and high rating of the Senate under its current leadership.
“May mga tsimis. May mga nagma-Marites sa akin…na ako ang papalit. Wala namang katotohanan iyan. I’m not thinking of it. Hindi ko iniisip iyon kasi suportado namin si [Senate President],” he added.
(There are some rumors. Some people would tell me about the gossip that I’ll be taking over. But there’s no truth to that. I’m not thinking of it, because we support the Senate President.)
Estrada noted, however, that if there are moves to unseat the Senate President, it’s usually done on a whim and not with thorough planning.
Senator JV Ejercito echoed his brother’s remark when he deemed alleged attempts to oust Zubiri as untrue.
“No truth to that! Senators are very much satisfied with the leadership of Senate President Migz Zubiri. In all honesty, [Senate President] Migz’ shoes will be too big to fill. That’s why I don’t think anyone will even attempt to wrest the Senate’s leadership from him,” Ejercito told reporters in a message.
Meanwhile, neophyte senator Robin Padilla said he has not heard of any plan to shake up the leadership in the upper chamber.
“Malaki naman ang bilib ko kay Senator Migz Zubiri. Siguro kaya hindi nila ako nilalapitan, alam nilang itsi-tsismis ko eh,” he said in a media interview.
(I have high confidence in Senator Migz Zubiri. Maybe the reason why senators haven’t approached me about this is because they know I’ll clack about it.)
Padilla further said he does not believe Zubiri is falling short in performing his duties as Senate President.
“Wala akong nakikita na dapat baguhin. Siguro iyong mga beterano, baka sila, meron silang nakikita. Pero ako, bilang baguhan, wala. Kuntento ako,” he added.
(I don’t see anything that needs to be changed. Maybe the other veterans see one, but for my neophyte self, none. I’m content.)
But is Zubiri too kind for a Senate leader? Padilla said no, saying the “diplomatic” Zubiri can be strict, too, when necessary.
Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda had earlier dismissed rumors of an alleged coup against Zubiri as she expressed “full support” for him.
“Why would you fix something that is not broken?” she even asked.
Since taking the helm of the Senate, there had been lingering rumors to oust Zubiri as the chamber’s top leader, but he has repeatedly denied this.
Zubiri, however, said he was ready to let go of the post if enough senators vote to unseat him.