Pimentel: Malacañang had no hand in Senate leadership change
Malacañang had no hand in the change of leadership at the Senate, outgoing Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel maintained on Monday.
Asked if he discussed his decision to step down with President Rodrigo Duterte, Pimentel said the reorganization of the Senate was planned.
“No, Malacañang had no hand (in the Senate leadership change),” Pimentel told reporters in a press briefing.
Pimentel said he and Sotto had an understanding that the majority leader would eventually take over his post.
“The majority will be supportive of the new [Senate] president whatever the reason be,” he said.
Pimentel’s move to step down would allow him to prepare for the upcoming senatorial elections in 2019.
Although there was no timetable for the transfer of power, he admitted that the early filing of certificate of candidacies in October and the start of campaign in February 2019 was a factor.
Pimentel said he was relieved of the administrative duties as the leader of the chamber, giving him time to focus on legislation.
“I will no longer concern myself with Senate matters like lack of parking space, the quality of foods being served in the canteen,” he said in jest. “I will now focus on the committees I will be given.” /ee
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