Escudero replaces Zubiri as Senate president 


MANILA, Philippines (Updated 6:03 p.m.) — Sen. Chiz Escudero took his oath as the new Senate president on Monday, just minutes after Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri bowed out of the position in an emotionally charged privilege speech.

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano nominated Escudero for the post and received no objections from the 24-member chamber. 

In his speech, Escudero thanked Zubiri and hailed his achievements as Senate president for the last two years.

“Hopefully, you will not leave my side when I ask for guidance and your wisdom. Sana magkasama tayo sa mga darating na panahon (I hope we stick together in the coming days),” Escudero said in his first address as Senate president.

Zubiri's exit as Senate president also came with a leadership shakeup as senators vacated their posts to give way to Escudero's picks.

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada took his oath on Monday as the new Senate President Pro Tempore, replacing Sen. Loren Legarda for the second-highest position in the upper chamber.

Sen. Francis Tolentino also took his oath as the new Senate Majority Leader, replacing Sen. Joel Villanueva.

Sen. Nancy Binay, Sen. Sonny Angara and Sen. JV Ejercito also resigned from their chairpersonship of various committees.

In his speech, Escudero acknowledged those who resigned from their positions and similarly expressed his openness to working with them.

"Binabati ko rin ang ating majority leader na sa Sen. Joel Villanueva at ibang pang mga nagbitiw sa kanilang posisyon, hindi ito ang katapusan ng ating pagsama-sama sa pagtatrabaho dito sa Senado," he said.

(I also want to acknowledge our majority leader Sen. Joel Villanueva and others who resigned from their positions, this is not the end of our work together in the Senate.)

Zubiri's two-year term as Senate president was hounded by at least two ouster plot rumors, the latest of which took place in March. During this time, Sen. Imee Marcos claimed it was the members of the House of Representatives pushing for a leadership change in the Senate.

As a response, 17 out of 24 senators signed a manifesto of support for Zubiri. Those who did not sign the statement were Escudero, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, Sen. Pia Cayetano, Sen. Cynthia Villar, Sen. Imee Marcos, Sen. Robin Padilla, Sen. Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr.

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