Zubiri: I lost top Senate post for defending Dela Rosa

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri finally admitted on Tuesday that defending Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa had cost his leadership in the Senate.

Zubiri only made this categorical admission after learning that Dela Rosa was one of 15 senators who signed a resolution supporting the newly installed Senate President Francis “Chiz” Escudero.

READ: Dela Rosa admits backing Escudero’s leadership, apologizes to Zubiri 

This revelation caught him “dumbfounded,” the resigned Senate leader told reporters.

“Alam mo (You know), I thought I’ve seen strange things in my political career, and this happens to be the strangest,” Zubiri said.

“Kung kahapon ako po ay heartbroken; ngayon po ako dumbfounded. Talagang hindi ko ma-gets, hindi ko talaga maisip, hindi ko talaga ma-grasp ‘yung pangyayari na ‘yun,” he said.

(If I was heartbroken yesterday, now I’m dumbfounded. I really don’t get it; I could not understand and grasp what happened.)

“At least alam niya na denepensahan ko siya bilang isang chairman ng committee, at dahil dyan, nagkaroon po ng sakripisyo. Ako po ay sakripisyo dyan. Nawala po ako sa position,” he continued.

(At least he knows I defended him as a chairman of the committee and because of that, sacrifices were made. I was the sacrifice there. I lost my position.)

He was referring to Dela Rosa’s chairmanship of the Senate committee on public order, which is investigating the alleged leaked Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency documents that supposedly linked President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and actress Maricel Soriano to illegal drugs.

The probe, however, has been criticized by several lawmakers, who questioned the credibility of former PDEA agent Jonathan Morales, the alleged source of the leaked documents.

READ: Suarez thanks Zubiri for reminder, but why PDEA leaks sill being heard? 

“Medyo masakit, masakit (It’s a bit painful),” Zubiri said, recalling how he campaigned for Dela Rosa in his province in Bukidnon.

“It’s very surreal, surreal talaga. Parang hindi ko maiintindihan. Parang nasa twilight zone,” he added.

(It’s very surreal, really surreal. I can’t understand. It’s like being in a twilight zone.)

When asked if he felt betrayed by Dela Rosa, Zubiri said: “Let the people decide.”

Zubiri said he would just move on, recognizing the reality in politics that “there’s no permanent friends, only permanent interests.”