SENATE President Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri said on Wednesday he is willing to relinquish his position as Senate president if his fellow senators will vote him out.
“At the end of the day I serve at the pleasure of my colleagues and if there are 13 votes to elect a new Senate President, then I will gladly step down,” Zubiri said in a statement in reaction to a reported plot to oust him.
He, however, denied that there was a move to oust him.
“That article is a figment of someone's boredom and in their between lucid intervals. There has been no talk of leadership changes as well as any warnings from any one on the low output of the Senate,” Zubiri added.
A report earlier said that Zubiri risks losing his post due to his supposed lack of productivity and failure to prioritize key legislative initiatives.
The Senate chief said legislation is a tedious task.
“First of all, the Senate carefully studies each and every measure as we debate on this thoroughly to improve every draft legislation. With due respect, we are not a rubber stamp institution,” he said. “Even the delay in the passage of RCEP was due to the lack of support it got from the main sponsor herself who is the chair of the Committee on Foreign Relations, so I took it upon myself to take over and sponsor the measure on the floor.”
Senators led by Senate President Pro Tempore Lorna Regina “Loren” Legarda and Senate Majority Leader Emmanuel Joel Villanueva expressed their support for Zubiri.
“This is totally untrue. Senate President Miguel Zubiri, the Senate leadership and the majority senators, together with the minority senators, have been working diligently and productively. We work harmoniously too, even on some contentious issues,” Legarda said.
“Let us focus on our job, to enact laws that best serve our people, at this crucial time in our national life. Let's not waste any minute on useless, imaginary thoughts that do not uplift lives,” she added.
Villanueva described the report as a desperate and pathetic move to destroy Zubiri and the integrity of the Senate.
Other senators had nothing but praises for Zubiri.
“Not at all! He is one of the most progressive, hardworking and unifying Senate presidents. In fact, we just passed two priority bills this week alone…. No basis,” Sen. Mary Grace Poe said.
“Super not true,” Sen. Maria Lourdes Nancy Binay said.
Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara thanked Zubiri for being a very good leader while describing the Senate president pro tempore and the majority leader as “outstanding.”
“They should be given a chance, as it is way too early to pass judgment,” Angara said.
“Not from me and not that I know of,” Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero said.
Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito said he and the majority of the senators are satisfied and are happy with Zubiri's leadership.
“He has been supportive of the administration's priority measures. Personally talking to every senator, in fact, to pass the Palace certified measures. He has been supportive of the administration, but fair and allows the senators maintain their independence on controversial issues by allowing a conscience vote. I still strongly support Senate President Zubiri,” Ejercito said.
Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said that Zubiri enjoys the full trust and support of the majority.
“I am 100 percent sure that the fake news is connected to the talks about constitutional amendments wherein the Senate as body, will play a key role to its success,” Gatchalian said.
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