THREE Liberal Party senators see the removal of their partymate Sen. Leila de Lima as chairperson of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights as a “political reality.”
Senate President Pro Tempore Franklin Drilon, Senators Francis Pangilinan and Bam Aquino, together with Akbayan Sen. Risa Hontiveros, yesterday issued a joint statement deploring the ouster of De Lima who had led the probe into the rising number of extrajudicial killings of suspected drug traffickers.
“No consultation or dialogue took place. We recognize the removal of Senator Leila De Lima as chair of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights as a political reality,” they said.
“We are deeply saddened by the events that transpired yesterday. Elementary courtesy dictates that we as members of the majority bloc of the Senate should have been consulted. The concerns of our colleagues could have been addressed if there was an opportunity for a dialogue,” they said.
However, Drilon, Pangilinan, Aquino, and Hontiveros maintained that they will not bolt from the majority bloc. Another partymate, Sen. Ralph Recto heads the three-member minority group.
“Having said that, our alliance with the majority has always been based on the reforms that we believe will propel our nation to greater economic, political and social heights. We will continue to pursue these agenda,” they said.
“As long as we believe that these reforms can be achieved, we will remain with the majority. Coming from the events that transpired yesterday, we must remain vigilant and continue to assert the independence of the Senate,” they added.