Escudero hopes to fix ties with Zubiri, allies: We’re not enemies

Escudero hopes to fix ties with Zubiri, allies: We’re not enemies

By: - Reporter / @MRamosINQ
/ 05:30 AM May 28, 2024

‘Solid 7’ in Senate still part of the majority bloc, says Escudero

Senate President Francis Escudero speaks during the Kapihan sa Senado forum on Thursday, May 23, 2024. —Noy Morcoso/

MANILA, Philippines — Exactly a week after ousting Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri from his post, Senate President Francis Escudero expressed optimism on Monday that they would be able to put the matter behind them in time for the return of the 19th Congress in July.

“We’re not enemies,” Escudero said of Zubiri and his allies in the so-called “Solid 7.”


“I don’t see any reason why our relationship will not improve despite the differences in our views,” he told reporters after visiting several Senate offices.


READ: Zubiri out as Escudero takes Senate leadership

Besides, according to Escudero, installing a new leadership in the legislative body is just “part of the process.”

“I believe that we will be able to overcome this as an institution,” he said.

“There’s a time for sadness, a time for happiness and a time to face challenges. There’s also a time when everything is OK. Maybe this is a time for [sadness],” he added.

Escudero, who is serving a fresh six-year term in the Senate after his stint as Sorsogon governor from 2019 to 2022, stressed that he was looking forward to working with Zubiri’s group to push for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s legislative agenda.

READ: Escudero: Senate not to waste time on bills that will not become a law


“I’m not avoiding them. If I miss them or they miss me, it’s easy to send a text message,” he said.

At the same time, Escudero set the record straight, saying that each of the 14 senators who backed him had their own reasons for replacing Zubiri.

No common denominator

He further said that it was “unfair” to blame the change in Senate leadership on Sen. Ronald dela Rosa’s insistence to investigate President Marcos’ supposed link to illegal drugs.

Escudero also clarified that there was no truth to Dela Rosa’s claim that Zubiri lost the Senate presidency because he refused Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr.’s request to attend their plenary sessions online while recuperating from a foot injury.

“Just look at those who supported the change in leadership. There’s no common denominator [among them],” the new Senate leader said as he noted: “That means it’s not the one and only reason why it happened.”

Zubiri, who headed the 24-member chamber for 22 months, had surmised that his defense of the Senate’s independence “ruffled some feathers” and “upset the powers that be,” eventually costing him his job.

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He and other members of the Solid 7 bloc, composed of Senators Loren Legarda, Joel Villanueva, Nancy Binay, Juan Edgardo Angara, Sherwin Gatchalian and JV Ejercito, rued the power grab that Escudero himself initiated just two days before Congress went on sine die adjournment.

TAGS: Francis Escudero, Senate

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