Bloc to pursue talks with Pangilinan on Senate leadership

July 4, 2010

A. M. G. Roa   
Business World
July 4, 2010


A GROUP of seven senators which is seen to provide “swing votes” in the race for the Senate leadership will discuss with Liberal Party (LP) bet Francis N. Pangilinan leadership standards, a member of the group said yesterday.

“We will sit down with Kiko [Mr. Pangilinan’s nickname] to determine, based on our criteria, if he upholds the qualifications agreed upon by the group,” Senator Edgardo J. Angara said in a radio interview. He said the group prefers a leader who is independent from Malacañang.

Mr. Pangilinan belongs to the same party of President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III.

“The history of the Senate presidents, in general, is that they are independent-minded… because the credibility of Senate will be eroded if the majority thinks that he is just a puppet,” Mr. Angara said.

Mr. Pangilinan, chosen by the LP on Friday, sees a two-cornered fight with Senator Manuel B. Villar, Jr. of the Nacionalista Party. He needs the support of 13 votes to gain the leadership.

Other LP senators are Ralph G. Recto, Teofisto L. Guingona III and Franklin M. Drilon.

Other members of the so-called reform group are: Juan Miguel F. Zubiri, Ramon B. Revilla, Jr. and Manuel M. Lapid (Lakas-Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino-Christian Muslim Democrats), Vicente C. Sotto III and Loren B. Legarda (Nationalist People’s Coalition) and Gregorio B. Honasan II (independent).

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