Senator Cynthia Villar is reportedly met President Rodrigo Duterte in a Pasay City Hotel to discuss a possible change of leadership in the senate.
According to the report of Tribune.net, Villar, together with five Senators, met with Duterte a few days after Senate President Vicente Sotto III led a resolution to question the decision of the President, terminating the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the United States and the Philippines.
Senators Pia Cayetano, Imee Marcos, Francis Tolentino, Ronald dela Rosa and Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go were present during the meeting.
Villar and senators Marcos, Tolentino, Dela Rosa, Go, Pimentel and Revilla decided to abstain from the treaty resolution vote.
Some media outlets called them as “Magnificent 7” after that incident.
Villar and the other senators who talked to the President are not yet revealing additional details about the meeting.
The feud between Villar and Sotto’s group started when some allies of President Duterte also signed the resolution asking the Supreme Court to explain the senate powers in terminating treaties like the VFA.
Even Senator Ronald Dela Rosa said that he felt included to the minority instead of the majority after he saw the results of the voting.
“We are the new minority,” Dela Rosa told the press.
“Sinasabi nga na may kaniya-kaniya tayong isip pero kung doon tayo sa political side of it, majority against minority, dapat majority palagi ang mananalo but we were not able to get the majority vote,” he added.
Sotto fought back to the criticisms and claimed that Villar and other senators abstained in voting because they don’t want to offend President Duterte.
“They did not want to offend the president… That is the reason why they abstained because if you feel that a resolution is wrong, then you vote against,” he said.
This is not the first time that Villar and Sotto allegedly clashed because of the position for the Senate president.
Last year, Villar refused to sign a resolution backing Sotto as the Senate President.
Villar was reportedly being prepared to replace Sotto in the 18th Congress, but the majority of the senators decided to support Sotto.
“Bakit ako pipirma dyan? Kung ipahamak n’yo ang aking kapartido? Ako nakapirma dyan. Hihintayin ko na maayos si Pia at si Imee. ‘Di ba tama ‘yun?” Villar said.