This just in. A day after their failed attempt to hijack the annual People Power celebration and turn it into an anti-Duterte rally, senators belonging to the Liberal Party were ousted from the majority coalition in the senate.
Senate President Koko Pimentel, who comes from the same party as President Duterte, was able to survive the shake up that took down LP’s Frank Drilon as President Pro-Tempore. Who was replaced by Ralph Recto.
The sudden, but not unexpected move had been brewing for weeks ever since the Liberal have been actively campaigning against the Duterte administration and its anti-drug program. The confrontation finally came to a head with the recent arrest of LP stalwart Leila de Lima on drug related charges.
Early reports say that LP lawmakers were also stripped of their committee leadership positions. Notably, Kiko Pangilinan as head of Agriculture and Food (replaced by Cynthia Villar), Bambam Aquino as head of Education, Arts and Culture (replaced by Chiz Escudero), and Risa Hontiveros as head of Health and Demography (replaced by JV Ejercito).
The shake up is also widely seen as a response by the majority in the senate to the growing public clamor against the abuses of the former party in power. Many observers have noted that the Liberal Party leadership seem unable to move on from their defeat in the presidential elections, and have engaged the administration in a running political gun battle that threatens to destabilize the country.
With their fall from grace, many are hopeful that the programs of the government will finally be able to continue without interference from politics and politicians.