It was Senator Manny Pacquiao who, on Monday, filed a motion to have the Senate’s Committee on Justice and Human Rights chairmanship and membership vacant, resulting to the eviction of chairperson Sen. Leila De Lima.
Out of the 24 senators, 16 voted yes while 14 voted no. Two other senators abstained while one did not vote.
On that same day, Sen. Pacquiao was asked what pushed him to file the motion. According to him, a committee is supposed to be for the people and not for selfish agenda. This has not been the case with the committee led by Sen. De Lima.
Gusto po natin na ang committee ay para sa taong bayan, hindi lang pangsarili.
The senators who voted yes also defended their votes. According to them, De Lima has evidently become “biased” in handling the investigation. The committee is looking into the rise in of extrajudicial killings around the country since the Duterte administration took over.
Sen. Vicente Sotto III said that the committee should not be used to “besmirch anyone”. It should also not be use for “grandstanding and mudslinging.”
Furthermore, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III said that he voted yes because it’s better to “have a more objective chairman.” He added that his main concern is the report that would be submitted if De Lima remains as the chairman.
“I’m worried about the committee report – how it will be written, how the presentation will look like. There should be no slant, no bias from the very start. You just base the report on what came out during the hearing,” he said.
Pacquiao’s motion came after Senator Alan Peter Cayetano delivered his privilege sppech and mentioned that De Lima is utilizing the committee to go after the President.
While De Lima walked out during the speech, she delivered her own privilege speech the following day.
Cayetano was Duterte’s Vice President in the May 2016 elections.