Pangilinan says he is close to getting 13 votes

July 7, 2010

Maricar Cinco
Philippine Daily Inquirer
July 7, 2010



TAGAYTAY CITY, Philippines—Senator Francis Pangilinan, who is the Liberal Party’s candidate in the three-way race for the Senate presidency, said he was close to securing the 13 votes he needs to clinch the post.

But asked how many more votes he was still working on, Pangilinan replied: “Secret. We’re close. The persuasion continues.”

Pangilian was chosen by President Aquino’s party as its candidate against Sen. Manny Villar of the Nacionalista Party and another possible contender, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile.

Earlier reports said the LP claimed to have already secured nine votes, while Pangilinan expected the support of Senators Franklin Drilon, Ralph Recto, TG Guingona, Francis Escudero, Serge Osmeña, Jinggoy Estrada and even that of Enrile.

“This is not only a question of who has the numbers. It includes the issue of what will the leadership do to ensure that the desire of the people to improve their quality of life will be achieved,” he said in Filipino.

Asked what his priorities would be in case he wins the Senate presidency, Pangilinan cited fighting corruption, providing jobs, building roads, airports and seaports and strengthening the justice system, which would receive a bigger fund allocation.

On Charter change, particularly a draft House resolution calling for a constitutional convention filed by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, he said, “That is not a priority at the moment.”

Pangilinan, who was seen close with Aquino during the Liberal Party’s fellowship here Tuesday evening, also welcomed the growing number of their party members.

“As long as they are sincere in their desire to support the President’s agenda and help him succeed, then there is reason for us to come together,” he said.

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