Zubiri's ouster purely a Senate decision – Rep. Dalipe

Zubiri’s ouster originated only within Senate – Rep. Dalipe

/ 03:34 PM May 21, 2024

House Majority Floor Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe believes that whatever signs that former Senate president Juan Miguel Zubiri felt before his ouster originated from the upper chamber only, as it is a separate and independent institution.

Majority Floor Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe says Zubiri’s ouster was the Senate decision.— File photo from the Facebook post of Zamboanga City Rep. Jose Manuel Dalipe

MANILA, Philippines — House Majority Floor Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe believes that whatever signs former Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri felt before his ouster originated from the upper chamber only, as it is a separate and independent institution.

Dalipe, in a press briefing on Tuesday, was asked about Zubiri’s statements on Monday — after senators voted to replace him with Sen. Francis Escudero — that he felt there were plans to remove him when the House discussed Charter change (Cha-cha) proposals, particularly a People’s Initiative (PI) petition.


Zubiri surmised that the plan to remove him started when he disagreed with the proposed timelines for the Cha-cha proceedings.


“We should always remember these are two separate chambers… I do not know about his statement about starting to feel something. Maybe he felt that from the Senate because that’s where his colleagues are at. They are the ones talking about that, and whatever decision they have would start from there,” Dalipe told reporters at the Batasang Pambansa complex.

“So, if he felt that there were changes, these changes were within the Senate because, at the end of the day, the House will make its decision. The Senate will have their decision, which resulted [in] a leadership change yesterday, which is separate from their action. It is really separate, independent from what we think here,” he added.

“What was shown yesterday in the Senate, a majority of the members of the Senate gave their trust and confidence to their new Senate president, Chiz Escudero. So, if I will analyze what happened there, to my understanding, many senators want to push for bills or proposals which they think will now happen under a new leadership,” Dalipe said.

“I am very optimistic that with this new leadership in the Senate, Senate President Chiz will be unifying. I am optimistic that he will also push for economic reforms needed in the Constitution. So with that, we look forward to the relationship of the House and the Senate under the leadership of Senate President Chiz Escudero and now Speaker Martin Romualdez, which I think will be more harmonious,” he added.

During the Senate session on Monday, Escudero was elected Senate president, with no other members being nominated for the spot. Zubiri believes that the moves to oust him were orchestrated because he failed to follow directives.

READ: Chiz Escudero is new Senate president; Miguel Zubiri out 


On Charter change

The shakeup in the Senate comes after months of speculation about a possible coup and the love-hate relationship between the House and the Senate.

In the first quarter of 2024, the House and the Senate were locked in a verbal spat due to charter change proposals. The House leadership, particularly Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales Jr., said they would entertain People’s Initiative (PI) petitions as other modes of amending the Constitution had not prospered in the Senate.

The Senate questioned the rationale of the PI; however, then-Majority Leader Joel Villanueva eventually claimed that the petition sought to abolish the Senate. When the House lawmakers maintained that there was no bid to abolish the upper chamber, Villanueva was criticized for supposedly belittling lawmakers for being elected with fewer votes.

READ: House member to Sen. Villanueva: Stick to issues, drop arrogance 

Eventually, when the House and the Senate agreed to push for the same economic amendments to the Constitution, the scheduling of discussions became an intense topic.

Meanwhile, Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers said that he hoped Cha-cha would now be discussed in a context where it would be explained that the House proposal to amend the Constitution was not aimed at abolishing the Senate.

“Now, with regards to the economic Cha-cha, I think the Senate is still doing public consultations as of now, and all these public consultations they did all over the country probably have helped the senators frame their opinion or come up with their opinion on that issue,” Barbers said.

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“What we are talking about is economic Cha-cha. We are not talking about supposed moves to abolish the Senate or amend our political provisions in the Constitution. So it is important that we explain this to the people that our intention is to make the economy less restrictive and invite more investors here,” he added.

TAGS: Juan Miguel Zubiri, Manuel Jose Dallipe, Senate President

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