- Senator Leila De Lima has been heavily criticised for undermining President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs
- Senator Manny Pacquiao called for the eviction of De Lima from chairmanship and the Senate voted in favour of his motion
- Senator Richard Gordon has replaced De Lima as Chair of the Senate Committee on Justice
Late Monday afternoon on September 17, 2016, Senator Leila De Lima was voted out of her position as Chair of the Senate committee on Justice.
Senator Manny Pacquiao initiated the ousting of De Lima, putting a motion on the floor for De Lima to vacate the chairmanship and reorganize the membership of the committee.
"I move that the chairmanship and members of the Committee on Justice be declared vacant," said Pacquio.
Controversy heavily surrounded the Justice Committee, given that it is investigating the vigilante killings taking place in President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.
Netizens have called on De Lima to step down numerous times. In fact many critics and Duterte supporters have condemned the investigation as hindering Duterte’s campaign to clean up the streets of drugs and crime.
Senator Franklin Drilon, who is currently serving as the Senate President Pro Tempore, and Senator Risa Hontiveros objected the motion of Pacquiao.
“We register our objection. We believe there’s no basis for the motion,” Drilon said.
“On behalf of Akbayan party, I respectfully register my objection,” Hontiveros added.
However, other Senators were very vocal on supporting the motion.
Senator Alen 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”
However, Senate President “Koko” Pimentel III moved to divide the chamber and made the roll call vote.
In the final tally, sixteen Senators voted for the motion, while only four voted against. Two Senators abstained.
Soon afterwards, Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto IIImoved to install Senator Richard Gordon as the new Chairman of the Senate committee on Justice.
Senator Panfilo Lacson was elected as vice chairman.
Senator Leila De Lima, now evicted from her post, was elected as member of the committee along with Senators Juan Mmiguel Zubiri, Grace Poe, Kiko Pangilinan, Manny Pacuiao, and Alan Cayetano.