Press Release
September 20, 2016

Senator Gatchalian Refutes Allegations of Palace Involvement
in De Lima Ouster

"To my knowledge, President Duterte was not involved in any way in the Senate's decision to remove Senator Leila De Lima as Chairperson of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

"I have yet to speak to the President since he assumed office, and I certainly did not consult him or any member of his administration before casting my vote to remove Senator De Lima.

"Senate committees are tasked with shaping policy direction and crafting legislative reforms. Unfortunately, under the leadership of Senator De Lima, the Committee on Justice had become a hollow vehicle for the fulfillment of personal political vendettas. We simply had to put a stop to that, both for the benefit of the Senate as an institution, and for the People this august body represents.

"The decision we were faced with on Monday was a difficult one, but in the end I am confident that we made the right choice to protect the integrity of the Senate and to safeguard its reputation as a true and faithful instrument to further the interests of the Filipino people.

"I trust that my dear colleague, Senator Richard Gordon, will now lead the Justice Committee the way it should be led - with objectivity, dignity, and integrity."

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