MANILA—Sen. Franklin Drilon was elected as the new Senate Minority Leader on Tuesday, a day after the Senate underwent reorganization.
During the senate plenary session, Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino IV moved to elect Drilon as Senate Minority Leader. Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto II seconded Aquino’s motion.
Drilon, meanwhile, elected Aquino as his Assistant Minority leader.
Prior to Drilon being elected as Senate Minority Leader, he was Senate President Pro-Tempore.
Sen. Antonio Trillanes was temporarily designated as Senate Minority Leader on Monday before Drilon was elected.
Detained Sen. Leila de Lima, in a letter ready by Sotto, manifested her intention to join the Senate minority bloc along with her party mates from the Liberal Party (LP).
To recall, Sen. Manny Pacquiao on Monday voted to declare vacant a leadership post, Senate President Pro-Tempore and committee chairmanships on the Senate Committees on Health, Agriculture and Education which were chaired by LP senators.
Drilon was ousted as Senate President Pro-Tempore while Senators Risa Hontiveros, Francis Pangilinan and Aquino were ousted as chairs of the Health, Agriculture and Education committees.
However, Drilon still chairs the Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes, Hontiveros still chairs the Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality and Aquino still chairs the Committee on Science and Technology.
Former Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto took Drilon’s place as Senate President Pro-Tempore after 17 out of 23 senators present voted for this change.
Senators Joseph Vicente Ejercito, Cynthia Villar, and Francis Escudero became the new chairs of the Senate Committees on Health, Agriculture and Education, respectively.
The new minority has six members namely Aquino, De Lima, Drilon, Hontiveros, Pangilinan and Trillanes.
The LP senators’ transfer to the minority bloc comes two days after their party mate, De Lima, was arrested by the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) for alleged drug trading charges.
De Lima is currently detained in the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame.