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Pimentel amid rumored coup vs. Zubiri: Don’t be too attached to the position

Amid rumors that Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri almost lost his position due to his supposed low output and alleged failure to prioritize key legislative measures, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III advised Congress' leaders not be attached to their positions.

“Ang advice talaga dyan sa lahat ng mga magiging Senate president at maging sa speaker of the House: Do not be too attached to the position. Anytime, let it go kung may isang may critical number, ibigay mo,” Pimentel, who served as Senate president in the 17th Congress but was later on replaced by former Senator Vicente Sotto III, said in an online interview.

“Bigay mo na. Siya ang nakabuo ng minimum number ng 13, and then siya na ang mag-steer ng ship at alagaan niya lahat ng mga egos [at] mga interest ng mga kasama niya,” he added.

Speaking from experience, Pimentel said it was a challenge to handle his colleagues’ egos and interests.

“Mahina kasi ang party system natin. Wala namang party-backing ang ating mga leaders of Congress. Hindi by party e. At saka kung may party man sya, not sufficient in numbers. There is no guarantee sa stability in the leadership,” he said.

In the current political structure, support for the Senate presidency was mostly gathered through personal relationships and through finding common interests in governance, Pimentel explained.

Last Tuesday, it was reported that supposed dissatisfaction with Zubiri’s performance almost led to his removal from the Senate’s top position.

On Thursday, Zubiri said he was informed that his position on charter change was the reason behind the rumors of a Senate leadership shake-up.

At least 10 senators have denied the rumors and most of them have reiterated their full support for Zubiri. — DVM, GMA Integrated News