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Wala kaming kaalam-alam! LP senators clueless of plan to oust De Lima — Sen. Aquino

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Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV has cried foul over what he believes to be the abrupt removal of Senator Leila de Lima as chair of the Senate committee on justice and human rights, after holding the position for barely over a month.

In an interview at the Senate Tuesday (Sept. 20), Aquino said senators belonging to the Liberal Party were kept in the dark about the plan to unseat De Lima even if they are part of the majority bloc.

“Hindi kami na-consult, hindi ni-raise sa amin. Honestly, if it were raised earlier, probably that might not have been the outcome yesterday. Baka puwede pa pag-usapan ang mga bagay-bagay,” he said.

In a 16-4 vote during the plenary session Monday (Sept. 19), the Senate approved the motion to declare all positions in the justice committee vacant, effectively unseating De Lima.

She was replaced by Senator Richard Gordon.

Aside from Aquino and De Lima, other LP members in the Senate are Senate President Pro Tempore Franklin Drilon, and Senators Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan and Ralph Recto.

Recto, however, belongs to the minority coalition.

Aquino said there was a last-ditch attempt by Drilon to talk to other members of the majority in a caucus upon learning of the plan to oust De Lima before Monday’s plenary session but this went unheeded.