Senators Vicente Sotto III and JV Ejercito on Wednesday denied that the “intimate” dinner they had with President Rodrigo Duterte was part of a loyalty check, saying the two-hour conversation was mostly “light” and “nothing serious.”
Sotto and Ejercito were two of the 15 majority senators who attended the dinner held Tuesday night in Malacañang.
“Walang napag-usapan na priority bills,” Sotto said. “Siguro probably because most of them have not broken bread with the President not even once from July.”
Asked whether it was a loyalty check, Sotto replied: “I don’t think so.”
Ejercito added that topics discussed during the dinner were tax reform proposals of the administration, the war on drugs, and, very briefly, the charges filed against Senator Leila de Lima.
De Lima is currently detained at the PNP Custodial Center over drug-related charges.
“In fairness to the President, wala siyang hiniling, inindorso, wala siyang tinanong tungkol sa investigation. So very light lang,” Ejercito said.
Aside from Ejercito and Sotto, the other senators present were Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, and Senators Manny Pacquiao, Joel Villanueva, Cynthia Villar, Alan Peter Cayetano, Grace Poe, Miguel Zubiri, Sherwin Gatchalian, Richard Gordon, Nancy Binay, Loren Legarda, Ralph Recto, and Sonny Angara.
Absent from the dinner are Senators Panfilo Lacson, Francis “Chiz” Escudero and Gringo Honasan.
Also noticeably absent were members of the minority bloc composed of De Lima and Senators Franklin Drilon, Bam Aquino, Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Risa Hontiveros, and Antonio Trillanes IV. —KBK, GMA News