MANILA - Was Senator Aquilino Pimentel III too diplomatic and too kind as a Senate President?
For Senator Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito, this was one reason why he decided to sign a manifesto agreeing to "re-organize" the Senate leadership and pick Sen. Vicente Sotto III to replace Pimentel.
"Masyadong mabait si SP Koko...Sumobra bait,” Ejercito told reporters, referring to Pimentel's nickname.
Ejercito cited how House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez called the Senate "mabagal na kapulungan" (slower chamber) for refusing to quickly pass several pieces of legislation. Pimentel, for his part, said the Senate is the "nag-aaral na kapulungan" or the chamber that studies matters well.
Ejercito said that while it was difficult to sign the manifesto, he believes the Upper Chamber needs Sotto's leadership because his "macho bloc" can easily protect the institution when under attack.
Asked who would replace Sotto as majority leader, Ejercito said someone such as Senator Miguel Zubiri "would be very acceptable."
The senator said he hopes Sotto and Pimentel will talk and settle the issue peacefully.
“May tiwala kami kay Sen. Sotto pero nasa kanila 'yun. Sila-sila na lang mag-usap,” he said, adding that the majority bloc hopes to settle the issue during their Monday caucus.
(We trust Sen. Sotto, but it's up to them. They should talk among themselves.)