Senators figure in heated exchange over blog post

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 27) — The atmosphere in the usually calm Senate session hall turned intense Wednesday when majority senators engaged in a heated exchange with minority senators over a blog.

Senate resolution 516 urges the government to take steps to stop the spate of killings - especially those involving minors.  

The resolution filed last Monday was signed by 16 out of 23 Senators:

  • Minority leader Frank Drilon
  • Kiko Pangilinan
  • Bam Aquino
  • Joel Villanueva
  • Risa Hontiveros
  • Ralph Recto
  • JV Ejercito
  • Antonio Trillanes
  • Win Gatchalian
  • Ping Lacson
  • Grace Poe
  • Nancy Binay
  • Chiz Escudero
  • Sonny Angara
  • Loren Legarda
  • Leila de Lima

A blog called "Silent No More PH" called the seven senators who did not sign the resolution "Malacañang dogs in the Senate." 

The seven were:

  • Senate President Koko Pimentel
  • Majority leader Tito Sotto
  • Richard Gordon
  • Cynthia Villar
  • Migz Zubiri
  • Gringo Honasan
  • Manny Pacquiao.

Senator Sotto was upset and said, "I take offense on how this resolution is being projected in the social media...Itong lumabas na article about this resolution ay gawa ng isang gagong salbaheng masamang tao."

[Translation: This article about the resolution was made up by a foolish, evil person.]

Sotto shared the view of fellow Senators Villar, Gordon, Zubiri, and Pacquiao that the blog aimed to discredit them.

In the first place, they said they were not asked to sign the resolution.   

Senators belonging to both the majority and the minority soon engaged in a heated exchange.

Senator Villar hinted the minority might have something to do with the blog.

She said, "There's really somebody from the social media told me before long time ago that there are two senators who's going to destroy us but i did not believe it. Its just that when i saw that blog then i started thinking that it was really true. So i want to clarify Bam and Risa. They told me really that Bam Aquino and Risa Hontiveros will try to destroy us."

Minority Senators Hontiveros, Aquino, and Pangilinan, who are also victims of cyber bullying and fake news, defended themselves.

Hontiveros said, "I also categorically deny that I was shocked just by the very question."

Aquino said, "I guess this is also a matter of people not understanding our rules here. Pag meron pong [when there is a] resolution, you don't need 12 signatures or 13 signatures to file a resolution. In fact, most of the time the resolutions we filed there's only one of signature and that's the author of the resolution."

Pangilinan said, "We did not intentionally exclude anyone. It's just that at that point I had to leave early."

Senator Zubiri said they are coming up with their own version of the resolution - Resolution No. 518 signed by the seven senators with eight others affixing theirs.  

Zubiri added they would sue those behind the blog for libel.