Sen. Francis Pangilinan on Tuesday rebuffed Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III for telling the Liberal Party to denounce the impeachment complaint initiated against President Rodrigo Duterte to prove that they were not really behind it.
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Kiko to Koko: You can’t order us around
Audrey Morallo (Philstar.com) - March 21, 2017 - 4:45pm

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Francis Pangilinan rebuffed Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III on Tuesday after the latter told the Liberal Party (LP) to denounce the impeachment complaint filed against President Rodrigo Duterte at the House of Representatives.

Pangilinan, the president of the much diminished Liberal Party, said Pimentel has no right to tell the Liberals what to do because they are all elected officials.

Pimentel is president of PDP-Laban, a former minority party that now leads supermajorities in both Houses of Congress.

Pangilinan’s strong rebuke of Pimentel came after he and his fellow LP senators in the Senate told the Senate president to focus on more pressing issues such as unresolved extralegal killings, increasing prices of basic goods and the presence of Chinese vessels in Benham Rise instead of the planned impeachment complaint against Vice President Leni Robredo.

The LP president said: “Who is he to tell us what to do? Hindi lang siya ang halal na senador.”

Pangilinan reiterated that the Liberal Party is not behind the impeachment charge against the president. However, he said, they are also not lackeys to be ordered around.

The impeachment complaint was filed by Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano, an ally of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV. Trillanes is with the Nacionalista Party but is seen as an ally of the Liberals at the Senate.

Pangilinan asked how Pimentel could expect them to denounce the initiation of the impeachment proceedings to prove to him they were not behind them when they were removed from their committee chairmanships for not toeing the administration line.

“Pimentel et al stripped us of our committee chairmanships for not toeing the admin line on extrajudicial killings, the Marcos burial, the Lascañas hearing and the BI hearings and the he expects us to denounce the impeachment proceedings to prove to him we aren’t behind the filing of the complaint?”

In a press conference that same day, Pimentel dared LP to denounce the impeachment charge against the president to prove that they really had nothing to do with it.

Late last month, LP senators Pangilinan, Franklin Drilon and Bam Aquino and Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros were removed from their key posts at the Senate, prompting them to join the new minority bloc.

Minority Leader Ralph Recto, also a Liberal, was elected Senate president pro tempore to replace Drilon, who is now minority leader.

AQUILINO PIMENTEL FRANCIS PANGILINAN
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