Press Release
June 2, 2019

Neophyte senators told: Study lawmaking first before meddling in senate leadership

Study lawmaking first before meddling in senate leadership.

This was Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon's unsolicited advice to neophyte senators amidst persistent rumors of them allegedly plotting to have Senate President Vicente Sotto III replaced when the 18thCongress opens in July.

"Sana mag-aral po muna yung mga baguhan. Sasabihin ko nang diretso, bilang isang neophyte, yung pagpapalit ng liderato ng senado ay malayo pa sa mandato natin iyan (The incoming senators should study first. I will say it directly, the leadership change is far from our mandate)," Drilon said in a radio interview on Sunday.

"Inihalal sila ng taumbayan para gumawa ng batas hindi kaagad na sumalpak saleadership quarrel (They were elected by the people to make laws and not to meddle in leadership quarrel)," he stressed.

"We should work first and show our people that that we are worth the mandate that we received from them," the former four-time Senate president emphasized.

"The senate leadership can always come any time of the day," he added.

Recalling his experience when he first became a senator in 1995, Drilon said that he played a mere observer when senior senators including the late Sen. Leticia Ramos Shahani orchestrated a move to oust the late Senate President Edgardo Angara Sr.

"Ganito na lang, noong una kong karanasan noong 1995, nagkaroon ng balita ng maneuver, yung mga senior na senador yung nangampanya na palitan noon si Senate President Ed Angara at ako bilang baguhang senador ay nanonood lamang on the leadership fight, dahilan nire-recognize natin na iyan ang tradition sa senado na kinikilala ang seniority," Drilon recalled.

"That's a reality that a neophyte senator must accept," he said.

"Unless Sen. Sotto committed a mortal sin, I don't think any senior senator will care to listen to a neophyte senator if he or she moves to campaign for a change of leadership," he said.

The veteran lawmaker and current minority leader said that the leadership of the senate would eventually be decided by the senate and not the Malacanang.

Drilon also lauded the minority's working relationship with the current senate leadership, saying that Sotto has treated every one in the majority and minority bloc fairly.

"His leadership has been good. He treats every one fairly. He knows that he is the President of the Senate and not just of the majority and he listens to every one," Drilon said.

But Drilon said that his bloc, consisting of Senators Francis Pangilinan, Risa Hontiveros and Leila De Lima, who is currently detained, would continue to perform their tasks as the minority and fiscalizer in the next Congress.

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