Estrada: No ‘outside forces’ involved in Senate leadership change

MANILA, Philippines — Newly instated Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada quashed on Tuesday allegations that the sudden change in Senate leadership was influenced by “outside forces.”

“Walang outside forces. It is just among our colleagues here,” Estrada plainly told reporters in a press conference.

(There are no outside forces. It’s just among our colleagues here.)

Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri officially resigned as Senate president on Monday, giving up the post to Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero.

READ: Senators weep as Senate President Zubiri delivers his valedictory speech

A total of 15 senators signed a resolution supporting Escudero’s new leadership.

When asked if the chamber’s leadership shakeup would change the Senate’s relationship with the Palace, Estrada immediately said no.

“Wala naman sigurong maaapektuhan (I don’t think it would affect anything). It’s just a change of leadership; we will always be supportive of the legislative concerns of the Palace as long as it will [be for] the benefit of our people. We will always be supportive of it,” he explained.

Estrada assured the public that the Senate will remain as an independent institution. In the end, the senator said he is hoping that the upper chamber’s relationship with  its counterpart — the House of Representatives — will become “better.”