Pacquiao tells LP they can keep some posts: 'May awa din ako'
A neophyte senator calling the shots?
"May awa din naman ako." (I also have mercy.)
This is what world-boxing-champion-turned-senator Manny Pacquiao said in jest when asked what would happen to the remaining committees held by Liberal Party (LP) senators, who were stripped of their powers on Monday, February 27.
It was Pacquiao, a key administration ally, who motioned to relieve senators Franklin Drilon, Francis Pangilinan, Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, and Risa Hontiveros from their posts.
Drilon was removed as Senate President Pro-Tempore, Pangilinan was relieved as agriculture committee chairman, and Aquino was sacked as education committee chairman. Akbayan's Hontiveros was also removed as health committee head.
At present, Drilon is still the head of the committee on constitutional amendments; Aquino is still the chair of the committee on science and technology; and Hontiveros remains chair of the committee on women and children.
Administration senator Cynthia Villar, however, said Drilon might still be booted out of the committee if the measure seeking to change the Constitution does not move under him.
"They will think about it. Kung 'di mag-mo-move 'yun, baka pati 'yun ma-transfer," Villar said. (They will think about it. If it doesn't move, even that [committee] might be transferred.)
Villar said it was Pacquiao who volunteered to move to oust the 4 LP-allied senators: "Gusto niya 'yon." (He wanted that.)
Pacquiao was a former member of the LP before joining the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) in 2012. He, however, ran under former vice president Jejomar Binay's United Nationalist Alliance in 2016. He then returned to PDP-Laban, the party of President Rodrigo Duterte, after the elections.
In September 2016, Pacquiao also moved to oust Senator Leila de Lima as chairperson of the Senate committee on justice, after she presented whistle-blower Edgar Matobato, who accused President Rodrigo Duterte of ordering killings when he was mayor of Davao City. – Rappler.com
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