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Zubiri humbled by senators' support amid alleged coup threats


Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri on Tuesday expressed gratitude to fellow senators who showed continuous support for his leadership amid fresh speculations of a coup over the weekend.

On Monday, 14 senators, including Zubiri, signed a statement of support for the incumbent Senate president's leadership.

"I am deeply humbled by my colleagues’ continued trust in my leadership of the Senate. I always say that I serve at the pleasure of my colleagues, and with their strong show of support, I am emboldened to press on as Senate President," Zubiri said in a statement.

"I thank my fellow Senators—everyone who already signed the statement of support, as well as those who have signified intent to sign it too," he added.

The senators who signed the statement so far are Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, Senators Sherwin Gatchalian, Sonny Angara, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Grace Poe, Nancy Binay, Lito Lapid, Raffy Tulfo, Mark Villar, Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa, Francis Tolentino, and Bong Go.

Those who haven't signed the statement yet are Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Pia Cayetano, Francis Escudero, Jinggoy Estrada, Imee Marcos, Robin Padilla, Bong Revilla Jr., and Cynthia Villar.

Being members of the minority, Senators Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III and Risa Hontiveros are not expected to sign the statement.

Rumors that Estrada will replace Zubiri have been repeatedly floated in the past few weeks.

Amid these speculations, Estrada explicitly denied it on Monday and said, "There's no truth to it."

Asked if he will sign the statement of support, Estrada said "Of course, but I haven’t received any copy yet so how can I sign if they don’t want to let me sign."

Meanwhile, Senator Marcos earlier said that the rumors of leadership change in the Senate are from "Congress and not from the senators."

"Nakakatawa nga eh. Palitan na lang kaya nila 'yung Speaker. Bakit nila papakialaman 'yung [Senate president]?" Marcos said.

A similar claim that the coup rumors were from the House of Representatives were earlier stated by Senator JV Ejercito and Majority Leader Joel Villanueva.—AOL, GMA Integrated News

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