Kiko is Liberal Party bet for Senate presidency

July 2, 2010

Amita O. Legaspi
July 2, 2010

Senator Francis Pangilinan is the Liberal Party’s bet for the Senate presidency, party president and defeated vice presidential candidate Manuel Roxas II announced on Friday.

The administration party arrived at the decision after a month-long consensus building process, Roxas said at a press conference in Quezon City.

President Benigno Simeon Aquino III was part of the process, not as the country’s chief executive but as a member of the LP, he said.

“President Aquino stressed that he will respect the independence of the Senate as well as the process of the Senate and the senators in choosing the chamber’s president,” Roxas said.

The LP has only four members in the incoming chamber — including Pangilinan, Senators Franklin Drilon, Ralph Recto, and neophyte Teofisto Guingona III.

Senator Sergio Osmena III ran as an independent but promised to support Pangilinan’s bid for the Senate presidency.

A senator needs 13 votes to secure the Senate top post even though the chamber only has 21 warm bodies on the floor.

Under the Constitution, majority of the Senate is pegged at 13 because the number of senators is fixed at 24.

Despite the lack of number, Pangilinan earlier expressed confidence he will be able to get the Senate top post. [See: LP could tap allies to bag Senate presidency]

A vacancy was created after Aquino was proclaimed president last Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Senator Panfilo Lacson went into hiding shortly after a Manila court issued in February this year a warrant for his arrest stemming form his involvement in the Dacer-Corbito double murder case, but the Senate has not yet declared his post as vacant.

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV remains detained and has no voting powers, unless a court allows him to attend the sessions.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile earlier said that he would most likely support the bet of the LP since he criticized Senator Manuel Villar Jr. during the campaign.

Until the past few days, Villar’s bloc has the numbers.

Included in the bloc are Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Pilar Juliana Cayetano, Miriam Defensor Santiago, Joker Arroyo, and Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who all ran under the banner of the Nacionalista Party.

But now, the bloc of Senator Edgardo Angara has the most number of allies, among them Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senators Loren Legarda, Ramon Revilla Jr., Lito Lapid and their recent addition Gregorio Honasan II and incoming Senator Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto III.

Angara earlier said Legarda told them that she will support Villar if the latter would seek the Senate presidency.

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