MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Manny Pacquiao on Monday asked the Senate leadership to declare the positions of committee on justice and human rights vacant. "I move that the chairmanship and members of the Committee on Justice be declared vacant," Pacquiao said during the Senate session. Senate President pro-tempore Franklin Drilon, meanwhile, opposed Pacquiao's move, saying the Senate cannot declare the chairmanship of a committee vacant.
The move came after Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano's privilege speech questioning the credibility of a confessed hitman who tagged President Rodrigo Duterte in killings in Davao City. Cayetano said Sen. Leila de Lima, the committee chairperson, is using the panel to go after Duterte. "Kitang kita po ang bias ng ilang senator sa laban sa krusada ng pangulo," Cayetano said. "Let someone else chair. In my past speech I said, I'm not even asking that she removed from the committee on justice only on certain hearing where we cannot expect cold neutrality," Cayetano added.
Cayetano connected De Lima's bias to her past initiatives to conduct a probe against alleged extrajudicial killings in Davao City when she was still a chair of Commission on Human Rights and as Justice secretary. De Lima walked out of the hall while Cayetano was delivering his speech. According to reports, De Lima will deliver her own privilege speech this week to counter Cayetano's. The brief exchange prompted Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III to suspend the Senate session.source:www.philstar.com
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