Zubiri to step down as Senate President

MANILA. Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri.
MANILA. Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri. Senate of the Philippines photo

SENATE President Juan Miguel Zubiri will step down from his post on Monday, May 20, 2024.

Zubiri said he will be replaced by Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero.

He admitted he was saddened by the change of leadership despite his continued effort to protect the independence of the institution.

“We are protecting the independence of the institution. Siguro may mga ayaw ng ganon. Gusto sunod-sunuran tayo (Maybe some people don't like that. They just want us to obey all the time),” said Zubiri.

In a message to reporters, Senate Minority Leader Joel Villanueva said the agenda for the plenary session later this afternoon, May 20, is the change of leadership.

"Agenda for Today... CHANGE OF LEADERSHIP," read his message to his fellow senators via Viber.

"Thank you guys for your trust and confidence...Signing off as your Majority Leader," he added.

Senator Sonny Angara said there are 15 senators in favor of the replacement of Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri.

At least 13 senators should support the change of leadership before it can push through.

Zubiri is expected to deliver a speech during the plenary session.

The possible oust of Zubiri is allegedly due to his failure to call off the ongoing investigation of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs on the alleged leak of confidential documents from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) that links President Ferdinand Marcos and veteran actress Maricel Soriano, among others, to illegal drug use back in 2012.

In the inquiry, former PDEA agent Jonathan Morales maintained that the leaked documents, which names Marcos and Soriano as targets for an anti-drug operation, were legitimate.

Morales’ claims, however, were denied by the PDEA, saying that such documents do not exist in their database.

The Senate President also allegedly failed to pass the priority measures of the Marcos administration, including the one for charter change. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)


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