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Lacson: Pimentel to stay as Senate president

In this July 2017 file photo, Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III speaks to the members of the press before he attends the State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Duterte. Philstar.com/Rosette Adel, file

MANILA, Philippines — Amid ouster threats against Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson on Thursday said the former would retain his post.

“Koko will stay as SP. The majority bloc, all 16 of us are solidly supporting his Senate leadership,” Lacson said.

“13 votes to oust is extremely improbable,” he added, referring to the Senate minority members mostly composed of Liberal Party senators.

Lacson made the statement after opposition Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said he would work hard to remove Pimentel as the Senate’s head if rival Sen. Richard “Dick” Gordon is not fired from his blue ribbon chairmanship.

For his part, Pimentel was not threatened by the ouster threats.

“He can go ahead with his plans. This is a free country,” Pimentel said reacting to Trillanes’ statement.

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READ: Koko to Trillanes’ ouster threat: Go ahead

Trillanes and Gordon earlier clashed over the blue ribbon committee’s inquiry into the P6.4 billion shabu shipment from China. The former wanted to summon the president’s son Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and son-in-law Manases “Mans” Carpio while the latter said invitation of the two kin of President Rodrigo Duterte is not necessary.

Trillanes believed Paolo and Carpio are involved in the entry of the drug shipment to the country. 

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