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We’re no ‘yellow demon!’ Kiko denies LP behind plot to oust Koko as Senate President

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Senator Francis Pangilinan has denied the Liberal Party is behind moves to remove Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III as Senate President.

“If there are moves to oust Koko as Senate president, we want to disassociate ourselves from that,” Pangilinan, LP’s president, said in a statement Thursday (May 18).

The lawmaker, a member of the Senate minority bloc, said recent events have helped shape LP into a “credible check-and-balance to the administration.”

There were reports that the LP bloc in the Senate met on March 15 to plot the removal of Pimentel as Senate President, and have him replaced with either Senator Ralph Recto or Senator Sonny Angara.

Senators belonging to the LP– Pangilinan, Risa Hontiveros, Leila de Lima, Bam Aquino and Franklin Drilon– were booted out of the majority in a leadership shakeup in the Senate last February. They also lost their committee chairmanships.

While the LP is not planning Pimentel’s ouster, Pangilinan conceded that the party has been painted as a “yellow demon” by supporters of the administration, especially in the face of the continuing exodus of its members.

“After being portrayed as a strong force at the Senate, those who are leaving the party, according to a news report that did not name its source(s), blamed ‘absence of leadership” for their decision,” he said.

“It’s more the opposite: They are leaving LP because of the presence of leadership now speaking out against a number of policies of the administration, such as the position against the death penalty, extra-judicial killings, etc,” Pangilinan added.

The senator conceded rebuilding the party in face of challenges is hard enough.

“Doing so with half-truths thrown your way makes it harder,” he said.