On Monday, four sitting senators were stripped of committee chairmanships, including the position of Pro-Tempore, the second highest position in the Philippine Senate.
Franklin Drilon was removed from the Pro-Tempore position and was replaced by Ralph Recto.
Francis Pangilinan was relieved as chair of the agriculture committee; Bam Aquino was removed from the education committee; and Risa Hontiveros from the health committee.
All, except Hontiveros, belong to the Liberal Party (LP) of Ex-President NoyNoy Aquino. Hontiveros of Akbayan, however, is aligned with the LP.
In the world of politics, such maneuvering by the dominant party or coalition is not out of the ordinary. It is quite common for legislators try to coalesce with or distance themselves from others as part of a strategy to get support for legislation, policy or ideology.
Even in the United States, key committee chairmanships are usually given to members of the ruling party.
But the online-only news outlet Rappler chose to print a fake headline, as seen in the following screen capture:
Really, Rappler? Persecution?
First of all, nowhere in Rappler’s story was the word ‘persecution’ mentioned by any of the senators. Is Rappler now acting as spokesperson or revisionist for the Opposition?
Second of all, there was no resistance on the part of any of the senators to the motions put forward bySenator Manny Pacquiao. As a matter of fact, all four senators seconded the very motions seeking their ouster. We can hardly call that persecution!
Rappler reported that the LP senators see Malacañang’s hand in their ouster from the key posts following the arrest and detention of party mate Senator Leila De Lima.
It’s was an ally of De Lima , Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin, who was quoted much earlier as saying that the lady senator’s arrest was “political persecution.” It seems Rappler is mixing up its own reporting to fit an idea for a specific headline.
Rappler wants to “take back the Internet.” Maybe we should take back online news from Rappler.