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Monday, June 24, 2024

Escudero admits initiating move to have Zubiri replaced

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Newly-installed Senate President Francis Escudero on Tuesday admitted he initiated the change in leadership in the Upper House.

He said he began talking to his colleagues Thursday after hearing of moves to have then Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri replaced.

“It was only last Thursday that I began to make inquiries and made a decision,” Escudero said.

“I started talking to people because several of them had misgivings,” he added.

He said the decision to have Zubiri replaced was finalized Sunday.

Escudero, along with Senate President Pro-Tempore Jinggoy Estrada, and Senate Majority Leader Francis Tolentino, also belied rumors that outside forces, particularly Malacañang, were behind the recent Senate shake-up.

“They (Malacañang) have nothing to do with the change of leadership here in the Senate,” Estrada said.

Estrada said he got a call from Escudero three days ago where they discussed the matter of Zubiri’s ouster.

Tolentino echoed the statements of Escudero and Estrada that no “unseen hand” or outside forces sparked the change in Senate leadership.

For his part, President Marcos sent his well wishes to Escudero through a post on X Tuesday morning.

“I extend my support to the new Senate President, Chiz Escudero. His legislative record and commitment to public service have distinguished him as a dedicated leader,” Mr. Marcos said.

“Senator Chiz steps into this role following the commendable tenure of Senator Migz Zubiri, and I am confident that under his leadership, the Senate will continue to prioritize transformative laws to achieve our shared vision for a Bagong Pilipinas,” the President added.

Escudero has been a stalwart of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), which recently also formed an alliance with the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) of President Marcos.

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