SENATOR Franklin Drilon and other Liberal Party (LP) senators were ousted from key positions Monday, just three days after staunch administration critic Senator Leila de Lima was arrested on illegal drug charges.

Senator Emmanuel Pacquiao moved to declare the post of Senate President Protempore, which was occupied by Drilon, vacant. Drilon did not oppose the move.

LP senators Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV, Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan, Risa Hontiveros lost the chairmanship of their respective committees.

"If this is the price to pay for showing up at Edsa and defending the truth. So be it," Aquino said.

Pangilinan and Hontiveros promptly declared that they were joining the new minority.

Others in the new minority bloc are Drilon, Aquino and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, another vocal critic of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Aquino, who chaired the committee on education, was replaced by Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero while Hontiveros was replaced by Sen. JV Ejercito as chair of the committee on health.

Pangilinan was removed as chair of the committee on agriculture and replaced by Sen. Cynthia Villar.

Trillanes, meanwhile, is being considered as the new Minority Leader.

De Lima, who is currently detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center at Camp Crame, is expected to be removed as chair of the committee on electoral reforms. (MVI/SunStar Philippines)


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