Kiko making headway in Senate presidency

June 17, 2010

Christina Mendez
June 17, 2010

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Francis Pangilinan is making a headway in his bid for the Senate presidency after presidential sister, popular TV host Kris Aquino-Yap, reportedly courted some of the senators to vote for him.

Reports said Pangilinan now has the support of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Senate President Pro-Tempore Jinggoy Estrada,  Senators Francis Escudero, Sergio Osmena III, Vicente Sotto III, TG Guingona, Ralph Recto, Franklin Drilon, Gringo Honasan, Panfilo Lacson and Antonio Trillanes.

Sources said Kris herself has called some senators to seek support for Pangilinan, who has fully supported Aquino’s presidential bid. Including himself, Pangilinan now has the support of 12 members.  He is just a vote away from the Senate presidency.

In an interview over DWIZ, Enrile said he has made a verbal commitment to support Pangilinan. Enrile noted that Sen. Franklin Drilon, who is also from Liberal Party, will have difficulty in getting the support of Sen. Osmena.

Enrile maintained his stand that he is not siding with the camp of Senator Manuel Villar Jr, who is also eyeing the top Senate post. Enrile believes that Lacson and Trillanes will support Pangilinan once they are allowed to vote.

Enrile also expressed confidence that Lacson will resurface from hiding to clear his name and participate in the proceedings. “Malaking paniniwala ko na si Ping ay babalik. At kung yon ay babalik ay di sasama dun sa pangkat ni Manny Villar yun,” Enrile said.

The Senate president surmised that Villar has the support of only senators including Senators Miriam Defensor Santiago, Joker Arroyo, Alan Cayetano and his sister, Pia, and  Bongbong Marcos.

Although Senators Loren Legarda, Bong Revilla and  Lito Lapid are perceived to be part of the Villar group, Enrile said the three colleagues remain unpredictable.

Enrile is optimistic that Senate majority leader Juan Miguel Zubiri and his mentor, Edgardo Angara, may change their minds and support a Liberal Party-led Senate.

“Ngayon sa NP (Nacionalista Party), ang magkakasama dyan si Villar, Alan, Miriam, and Joker, Bong bong Marcos,” Enrile explained. Asked if he wants to retain his Senate presidency, Enrile said that “remains a faraway dream.”

Early this week, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago said Villar has the numbers in regaining the Senate presidency.

The Star tried to reach Drilon for comment but he has not returned call as of press time.

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