MANILA - Senator Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday admitted that he met with some members of the Senate regarding issues that he wanted his fellow lawmakers to address.
Speaking on DZMM, Cayetano said he met with around 10 senators about different issues affecting the Senate, including Senator Leila de Lima's inquiry on drug-related killings.
He also said that he declared his full support to the Senate presidency of Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III.
"Wala na akong ambisyon sa Senate. Sa inyong sa inyo na ako, si Dick Gordon ang aming lider, kayo na ang mag-usap. Basta ako, dalawa lang ang hinihingi ko. Lahat ng bill ng pangulo na makakabuti sa bansa na mabilis namang ipasa like 'yung emergency powers, ipasa niyo na," Cayetano said.
("I do not have any ambitions in the Senate. I fully support you, with Dick Gordon as our leader. Just talk with each other. As for me, I only have two requests. First, pass all presidential bills that can benefit the country, like the emergency powers for the president.")
"Pangalawa, huwag nating hayaan na gamitin ni Senator Leila De Lima ang Senado at 'yung committee para siraan ang bansa. Hindi na nga 'yung presidente, 'yung bansa," he added.
("Second, let us not let Senator Leila de Lima use the Senate and her committee to destroy the image of the country. Not just the image of the president, but also the image of the country.")
According to Cayetano, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are the ones who suffer most with the Philippines' negative image in the international community.
"Kawawa 'yung mga OFW natin na kapag ipinagtanggol nila ang bansa, kawawa sila. Kapag hindi nila ipinagtanggol, kawawa rin," he said.
(Overseas Filipino workers are pitiful. If they defend the country, they will suffer. If they don't defend the country, they still suffer.)
Cayetano, in a privilege speech at the Senate, criticized De Lima for supposedly "damaging the image of the country."
Cayetano accused De Lima of destroying the integrity of the Senate and the country after she led an investigation where a self-confessed hitman of long-time Davao City Mayor and now President Rodrigo Duterte surfaced.
"Senator De Lima, in her desire to destroy the President is destroying the integrity and reputation of the Senate. Worse, damaging the image of the country and the people worldwide," Cayetano said.
He also accused De Lima of "refusing to be neutral" as chairperson of the Senate Justice committee, and for bringing in self-confessed former hitman Edgar Matobato, who he said has questionable credibility.
"The root cause is ginagamit kasi yung committee not to go after a factual finding on extrajudicial killings but to go after the president and in effect--wittingly or unwittingly--nasisiraan 'yung buong bansa," Cayetano said.
He said, the De Lima-led hearing is being used to mislead the international media, which in recent weeks have been reporting on the human rights situation in the country.
LOOK: Drug war deaths land on TIME cover