The senate unseats Senator Leila de Lima as chairperson of the Justice and Human Rights Committee on Monday after a motion to oust her was raised by Sen. Manny Paquiao.
A total of sixteen (16) senators voted “yes”, 4 were against and 2 abstained. The four senators who opposed her ouster were her party mates from the Liberal Party: Senators Bam Aquino, Frank Drilon, Kiko Pangilinan, and Risa Hontiveros. However, LP Senator Ralph Recto abstained.
Senator Richard Gordon was elected by the senate to replace De Lima.
De Lima said Duterte was behind his ouster as chairman of the senate committee on justice which investigates the alleged extrajudicial killing under the current administration. Last week, a surprised witness, Edgar Matobato, was presented by De Lima during the senate hearing.
Matobato, a self-confessed former member of the alleged Davao Death Squad, linked the president and his son, Paolo Duterte as masterminds on extrajudicial killing when the former was still mayor of Davao City.
“This is all part of a demolition job. This is all part of the threat from no less than the President to destroy me. In his mind, I’m supposed to be finished already, so these things being done to me, we can call the finishing touches to that singular and passionate desire of the president to demolish me,” De Lima during an interview with ANC.
According to De Lima, she expected something like this to happen, following her move to investigate the increasing incidence of drug-related killings under the Duterte administration.
“I anticipated that when earlier, during the proceedings, Senator Frank Drilon moved to suspend the proceedings when Senator Alan Peter Cayetano manifested that he is about to deliver a privilege speech.
“While I was hoping or expected that I would be getting a little bit more of support, of votes in my favor, I sort of expected that already, that there’s going to be a clear majority in ousting me,” De Lima added.
President Duterte during a media interview in Davao City on Monday denied the De Lima’s allegations.
“I do not intervene, dwell into matters not part of my territory,” Duterte said.
“I don’t care how many hearings are there, UN, BU, U2, B2, B52, basta ako nakatutok sa aking trabaho (as long as I am focused on my job),” added the President.