Senate Ousts De Lima as Committee Chair, Elects Gordon as New Head

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Senator Leila De Lima was ousted from being the chair of the Senate committee on justice and human rights after a motion was filed by Senator Manny Pacquiao, garnering 16-4 votes, in favor of the eviction.

Pacquiao made the motion on the floor to declare vacant the chairmanship and the membership of the said commitee. De Lima is replaced by Senator Richard Gordon.

The committee is responsible for investigating the alleged extrajudicial killings that happened in the country since the start of Duterte’s administration.

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De Lima is no longer chairperson of the committee on justice and human rights (Photo: ABS_CBN)

On the other hand, Senate President Pro Tempore Franklin Drilon objected  the motion, prompting the session to be suspended and the holding of a senators’ caucus.

Drilon stayed true to his objection shortly after the session resumed and the chamber decided to immediately put to a vote the said motion.

“We register our objection. We believe there’s no basis for the motion,”  Drilon said.

Three other senators also objected Pacquiao’s motion: Risa Hontiveros, Bam Aquino, and Francis Pangilinan. Two other senators,  Minority Leader Ralph Recto and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, abstained from voting.

“On behalf of Akbayan party, I respectfully register my objection,” Hontiveros said.

A total of sixteen senators voted in favor of Pacquiao’s motion. It was Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III who made the roll call vote.

The three gentlemen whi objected — Drilon, Pangilinan, and Aquino – are all members of the Liberal Party. Hontiveros, on the other hand, was ran under the LP during the May 2016 elections.

Meanwhile, after the voting, Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III iwas quick to elect Gordon as the new head of the committee while Senator Panfilo Lacson was elected as the new vice chairman.

Senators Pacquiao, de Lima, Pangilinan, Grace Poe, Alan Cayetano, and Juan Miguel Zubiri, were also elected as members of the new committee.

De Lima’s dismissal came days after she brought and presented Edgar Matobato, a self-confessed member of the Davao Death Squad, last Thursday, September 15.

Matobato said that President Rodrigo Duterte was the one who ordered the killings under the Davao Death Squad while he was still mayor of the city.

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