Bernadette E. Tamayo, Tess Bedico
July 4, 2010
SENATOR Francis Pangilinan assured colleagues in the Upper Chamber that he will not be “subservient” to Malacañang if elected Senate President amid concerns that he is quite close to President Benigno Aquino III, a fellow Liberal.
Pangilinan had been chosen over partymate, Sen. Franklin Drilon, as the Liberal Party bet for the Senate presidency race. The two other contenders for the post are Nacionalista Party chairman, Sen. Manuel Villar Jr. and Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, who had just finished his stint as Senate head in the 14th Congress.
“I assure our colleagues in the Senate and our people that while I firmly believe that the Senate ought to be supportive of President Noynoy’s anti-corruption and anti-poverty campaign, it will never be subservient to Malacañang. We will be supportive but will never be subservient,” he said.
He said that his closeness to the President “is based on their common vision for the country and therefore “ought to be viewed as a plus and not a minus in our bid to win the Senate presidency and our desire to push for genuine change for our nation.” It’s a party decision, Malacanang said on the move of the LP to field Pangilinan in the contest for the Senate presidency.
Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said it is also to the advantage of the Aquino administration if the Senate President and the Speaker is a political ally.
“Para maisulong ang legislative priorities, mas mabuti na sila ay magkaibigan at magka-alyado,” Lacierda said.
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