‘I was replaced because I was not following instructions’

Cecille Suerte Felipe - The Philippine Star
�I was replaced because I was not following instructions�
Juan Miguel Zubiri
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — While he may not have crossed the “powers that lead,” his not following instructions eventually did him in, a “heartbroken” Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri admitted yesterday, explaining his decision to resign as Senate president to preempt a move by a majority of his colleagues to oust him.

“You know that we are probably not against the powers that be, but because we were not following instructions, we are the casualty,” Zubiri said when asked by media if he felt betrayed.

“We will continue in support of the independence of the Senate… It’s sad that I did everything to protect the independence of the Senate, but that’s how politics really is, we can’t do anything,” he said.

“I have never dictated my position on any of you. I’ve always supported your independence, which is probably why I face demise today. I failed to follow instructions of the powers. I have listened to all my colleagues throughout my Senate presidency, and again I listen to them today, as we head into a new period for the Senate,” Zubiri said. “I fought the good fight. If I have ruffled some feathers in doing so, if I have upset the powers that be, then so be it.”

Asked to discuss in detail the move in the chamber to oust him, he said: “I don’t want anymore to rain on the parade of Sen. (Francis) Escudero. I did my job, I did it well. We have no scandals, I am so happy that I have been able to render my service.”

Zubiri said during his two years as Senate president, the chamber passed many important bills that were included in the priority agenda of the Marcos administration.

He vowed to remain vigilant to make sure that the traditions and rules of the Senate are strictly followed.

He said he is proud to have led “a staunchly independent Senate, holding strong against all threats to our institution, and against threats to the very foundation of democracy on which our nation is built.”

“Indeed, in these two years, I have come to realize that being Senate president is not only about leading the troops, but also about putting oneself on the line, if that is what it takes to protect our institution,” Zubiri said.

“And so I have put myself on the line to shield the Senate from all attacks, particularly from efforts to diminish the powers of this institution as the country’s last bastion of democracy,” he added.

His resignation came two days before the 19th Congress goes on sine die adjournment.

Zubiri’s resignation came reportedly after he learned that a group of senators mustered more than 13 votes or a simple majority to replace him.

There were insinuations that one of the alleged reasons for the revamp was the Senate’s investigation on the leaked Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency document linking President Marcos to illegal drugs. The investigation is being headed by Sen. Ronald dela Rosa, chairman of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs.

After his resignation, Zubiri thanked his colleagues – Senators Loren Legarda, Nancy Binay, Sherwin Gatchalian, JV Ejercito, Sonny Angara, Joel Villanueva and Dela Rosa – for staying with him.

Zubiri said his group would meet to discuss whether they would become independent or join the minority led by Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III and deputy minority leader Risa Hontiveros.

vuukle comment


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with