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The Senate on Monday stripped Liberal Party (LP) members of their committee chairmanships and removed LP leader Senator Franklin Drilon as Senate President Pro Tempore.

At the start of the plenary session, Senator Manny Pacquiao moved that the position of Senate President Pro Tempore be declared vacant.

Drilon stood up but did not oppose Pacquiao’s motion. “I will not interpellate Senator Pacquiao. I second the motion,” Drilon said.

After a quick break, Pacquiao nominated Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto as the new Senate President Pro Tempore, which was seconded by Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero.
Out of the 23 senators present, 17 senators voted in favor of Recto.

Pacquiao then moved that the chairmanship of the committees on health, agriculture, and education be declared vacant.

Committee on health chair Senator Risa Hontiveros was replaced by Senator JV Ejercito, committee on agriculture chair Senator Francis Pangilinan was replaced by Senator Cynthia Villar, while committee on education chair Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IVwas replaced by Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero.

Drilon, Aquino, and Pangilinan are all LP members while Hontiveros is a member of the Akbayan party-list group, a close ally of the LP.

Hontiveros ran for Senate thrice under the LP-led coalition.

Before the changes were made in the floor, some of the senators met in a caucus without the LP members and Hontiveros.

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