By Mario Casayuran
The seven-member opposition group in the 24-man Senate formally denied Friday purposely leaving out seven senators from signing and filing a resolution urging the government to exercise its power to stop the spate of killings, especially of young people.
The resolution, signed by senators that included many members of the majority bloc, was read on the Senate floor on September 26 but no one manifested desire to be coauthors, said Sen. Francis “Kiko’’ Pangilinan, president of the opposition Liberal Party (LP).
In fact, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel, one of the senators who was not a signatory to the resolution, referred the resolution to the committee of Senators Panfilo M. Lacson and Risa Hontiveros.
Lacson, a signatory of the resolution, is a member of the Senate majority bloc, while Hontiveros is a member of the Senate opposition bloc.
The eventual attack by social media on the character and integrity of the seven senators, dubbed as ‘’Magnificent 7’’and who belong to the majority bloc, by social media led some of the seven to attack the unknown social media authors.
Senators Juan Miguel Zubiri, Emmanuel Pacquiao and Richard J. Gordon took to the floor and denounced the attacks against their honor.
They also asked their colleagues in the minority bloc that they should not stab them with political stilettos.
The so-called “Magnificent 7’’ included Pimentel and Senate Majority Leader Vicente C. Sotto III.
Pangilinan said the resolution was signed on September 20.
“And as Senator Pangilinan wanted to gather more signatures, on Thursday, Sept. 21, at 12 noon, we sent the copy through the publicly available Senate email address and the official email of Senators Gordon, Gregorio Honasan, Cynthia A. Villar, Zubiri and Sotto…..to inform them about the resolution and to show the number of signatures and to ask them if they want to co-sponsor it,’’ according to lawyer Herminio Bagro III, Pangilinan’s chief of staff.
Bagro said Gordon acknowledged receipt of the email on Sept. 21.
“On Monday, Sept. 25, we filed the resolution at 5:33 p.m. This was more than three days since it was emailed to the above senator. On Tuesday, Sept, 26, it was read on the floor, stating the title of the resolution and the names of the 16 coauthors,’’ Bagro added.
Pangilinan said ‘’clearly there was no attempt to keep or withhold the resolution from the seven senators. The Senate rules were followed.’’
‘’Most importantly, the Senate is showing that it cares to find justice for victims of all extrajudicial killings (EJKs),’’ he added.
Tags: Cynthia A. Villar, Emmanuel Pacquiao, extrajudicial killings, Gregorio Honasan, Liberal Party (LP), Manila Bulletin, Pangilinan denies purposely leaving out 7 senators, Richard J. Gordon, Risa Hontiveros, Vicente C. Sotto III