Get ready to rumble

“’Black propaganda from the House was the source of the perception that the admin proposed measures were not moving and that started in the heat of the PI conflict.’
Get ready to rumble

The final half of the term of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos promises to be exciting based on the recent political shifts in which a vigorous opposition minority acts as a watchdog in the Senate.

Sen. JV Ejercito capsulized the emergence of a strong minority as he maintained that Migz Zubiri should not have been replaced as Senate leader.

The statement of the former deputy majority leader revealed the maneuvering in both chambers of Congress, apparently being fueled by the coming mid-term elections.

“There was no compelling reason, such as a scandal or a scam for a change in leadership at the Senate according to Ejercito who is part of the “Magic 7” that may join the opposition bloc in the Senate.

Ejercito said the Senate under Zubiri was bombarded with black propaganda from the House of Representatives that started in January when the People’s Initiative issue failed to take off, which resulted in the start of the conflict in the leadership of the two chambers in Congress.

It died down a bit shortly after but it was “resuscitated” during the Senate hearing on the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) inquiry.

Ejercito recounted that two days before Zubiri was forced to resign, their bloc was still confident they had the support of the majority of 24 senators. “But suddenly, the “tides changed,” he said.

“We can just surmise, I don’t want to speculate or name anybody but I would think it will be somebody higher than the Senate to influence the minds and the positions of the senators for them to have a change of heart,” Ejercito added.

The Palace was known to have been irritated by the testimonies of dismissed PDEA agent Jonathan Morales in an extended probe. “I think that placed the final nail in the coffin on the Zubiri leadership,” Ejercito said.

Ejercito said Zubiri’s style of allowing senators their independence did not sit well with some powerful forces. “His strength became the source of the demise of his hold on the leadership,” the senator said.

“My peers know that Zubiri has done nothing to cause their displeasure,” he added.

“The magic 7 (Senators Ejercito, Loren Legarda, Nancy Binay, Joel Villanueva, Zubiri, Sonny Angara, Win Gatchalian) is the workhorse of the Senate I can say that 70 percent to 80 percent of the priority measures of the administration were outputs of this bloc,” according to Ejercito.

“Black propaganda from the House was the source of the perception that the administration’s proposed measures were not moving and that started in the heat of the PI conflict,” Ejercito added.

While “emotions are still high”, Ejercito said that the Magic 7 will remain independent but he indicated that the option is open for the bloc to join the minority.

“We will think about it during the break,” Ejercito said referring to the long sine die adjournment that started on 25 May.

Joining the opposition is “a consideration” since the magic 7 will not be part of the majority, according to Ejercito. The Senate minority is composed only of Senators Koko Pimentel and Risa Hontiveros.

“Senator Pimentel is talking to us,” Ejercito revealed.

Expect fireworks to fly when Congress resumes session. Voters have been yearning for intelligent debates on relevant measures instead of listening to the hearings which some senators have turned into their prime-time talk shows.

Daily Tribune