Richard Gordon: No need for change in Senate leadership

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 7) — There's no urgent need for a change in Senate leadership, Senator Richard Gordon said on Monday.

"I think we're fine, I think we're all right," Gordon told CNN Philippines' The Source. "Don't change anything if it ain't broken."

The remarks came after Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson mistakenly announced an agreement that Senate Majority Floor leader Vicente "Tito" Sotto III would assume the Senate presidency.

Incumbent Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III denied the agreement, prompting Lacson to apologize on Twitter. Pimentel is running for re-election in the 2019 senatorial elections.

Gordon, who chairs both the Justice and Blue Ribbon Committees, did not disclose any preference between the two senators. He said Sotto was "a good friend," but the senators had yet to discuss any change in leadership.

He also remarked on the disagreement between himself and Lacson, who on Thursday admitted he confronted Gordon about other senators not being able to weigh in during Blue Ribbon Committee hearings on P6 billion worth of smuggled drugs.

"We give it to him kasi passion niya minsan pag nagsalita siya... wala na talaga makasingit," Lacson said. "Pero ito lalabas sa interpellation... ang pag-conduct ng hearings and hopefully magkaroon ng kaunting pagbabago sa pag-preside niya sa pagdinig kasi di natutuwa ang iba."

[Translation:We give it to him because it's his passion that sometimes when he speaks... no one else can get a word in. How he conducts hearings... will come out in interpellation, and hopefully there will be a bit of crhange on how he presides because the others are not happy.]

Most recently, Lacson did not sign onto Gordon's Blue Ribbon committee report recommending criminal and administrative charges against former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III for the controversy surrounding the Dengvaxia vaccine. Lacson is also Vice Chair to the Justice Committee.

Gordon, however, denied his chairmanship was a one-man show.

"I don't think I stepped on any senator. They have the right to speak up," said Gordon. "All you have to do is raise your hand. If you're on point, you can speak as much as you want."

Both Gordon and Lacson maintain they are still friends despite their disagreements.

Watch the full interview with Gordon here.

CNN Philippines' correspondent Cecille Lardizabal contributed to this report.