Zubiri needs this break after ‘nasty backstabbing’

Zubiri needs this break after ‘nasty backstabbing’

By: - Reporter / @MRamosINQ
/ 05:44 AM May 30, 2024

Zubiri needs this break after ‘nasty backstabbing’

Sen. Juan Miguel “Migz” F. Zubiri —Senate PRIB

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri is taking time off to cool his heels.

Still reeling from his sudden ouster as Senate President last week, Zubiri on Wednesday said he would make use of the two-month recess in congressional sessions to think things over and spend more time with his family abroad.


The former Senate leader said he needed a break from the “nasty backstabbing” he had suffered after 14 of his fellow administration senators joined the May 20 coup mounted by Sen. Francis Escudero, his eventual successor.


“I’m on vacation mode for the next three weeks,” a smiling Zubiri told reporters after attending a meeting at the Senate. “I will go on vacation with my family. I think they deserve my undivided attention at this point in time.”

‘Let the people be the judge’

The lawmaker from Bukidnon province said he also wanted to give himself a “brief ‘me time,’” and “a brief emotional and mental break from all the politics and the nasty backstabbing that has happened in our politics here in the Philippines.”

As to reports that emerged on Wednesday that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. had admitted knowledge of the plot to unseat him, Zubiri said: “I don’t want to comment. Let them be. Let the people be the judge.”

‘Ruffled some feathers’

Right after being unseated, Zubiri made no secret of his disappointment with some of his peers, particularly Sen. Ronald dela Rosa, who he thought would stay loyal to him.

In a now-viral video, Dela Rosa was seen breaking into tears at the Senate session hall as the ousted Senate chief delivered his farewell speech. He also hugged Zubiri’s wife, Audrey, in the gallery on his way of the hall before Escudero was formally declared by the 24-member chamber as its new leader.

Zubiri had surmised that his defense of Dela Rosa’s right to continue his committee’s investigation into the President’s alleged links to illegal drugs had “ruffled some feathers” and “upset the powers that be.” Without expounding, he said this position he took regarding the inquiry eventually cut short his tenure as Senate President.


Dela Rosa, however, later claimed that Zubiri’s refusal to allow an injured Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr. to participate in the last five days of their plenary sessions through video conference was the reason for Zubiri’s removal, as it supposedly angered other senators. Revilla was then nursing a foot injury he suffered while filming a movie.

What now for ‘Solid 7’?

In his interview on Wednesday, Zubiri said he and his allies in a newly formed bloc—informally called the “Solid 7”—would still be discussing among themselves whether they still wanted to remain part of the Senate “supermajority” or join Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III and Sen. Risa Hontiveros in the opposition.

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“If you notice, I’m not speaking about which direction our group will take. We will regroup after the vacation,” he said.

TAGS: backstab, Francis Escudero, Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senate

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