It’s a wide open race for Senate President

May 19, 2010

JP Lopez
Malaya
May 19, 2010

IF Sen. Francis Pangilinan would have his way, the incoming Senate would play the role of an “able partner” of the next President.

Pangilinan, in a text message, said it is important to have a Senate “that will be an able partner of the President in pushing for the changes that our people seek to be realized when they voted for (Benigno) Noynoy (Aquino III) in his landslide victory.”

“A supportive Senate is critical if Noynoy is to succeed. Now more than ever we need a strong and working unity between Congress and the President to move our nation towards a new and progressive direction,” he said.

He said that if he could get senators from the Liberal to his side and secure the support of other senators, “then I am willing to seek the post of Senate President.”

Senator-elect Frank Drilon said he is interested in reclaiming the Senate presidency but the party has yet to decide on its candidate.

“Yan po ay pag-uusapan sa partido kung sino sa amin ni Kiko Pangilinan who has also expressed interest in seeking the highest post in the Senate,” Drilon said.

Aside from Drilon, the incoming LP senators are Teofisto Guingona III and Ralph Recto. They will join Pangilinan.

LP supporters in the Senate are Panfilo Lacson, Francis Escudero and Sergio Osmeña III.

Escudero said he is not interested in the Senate presidency.

He said the Nacionalista party has the biggest bloc in the Senate with Manny Villar, Alan Peter and Pia Cayetano, Miriam Santiago, Loren Legarda, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Joker Arroyo, Edgarda Angara, Antonio Trillanes, Gregorio Honasan and Ramon Revilla Jr.

Santiago had said that Villar, who was ousted as Senate President in November 2008, is likely to regain his post because of the new alliances he nurtured.

Escudero said it is likely that a coalition would be formed to elect a new Senate President.

“Magbubuo ng mga koa-koalisyon. Noong nakaraaang panahon, may term-sharing pero hindi ako sangayon sa term-sharing kung saka-sakali dahil sila sila lang naman ang nagkakasundo,” he said.

Incumbent Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile had said that he would not seek the post.

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