SENATE PRESIDENCY ‘List’ names 11 senators for Pangilinan

June 17, 2010

Maila Ager
Inquirer.net
June 17, 2010

MANILA, Philippines—Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan has secured the support of 11 senators and is just one vote short of the needed number to get elected Senate President, according to a list supposedly circulating in the upper chamber.

The list purportedly contained the names of Pangilinan, Senators Juan Ponce-Enrile, Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Gregorio Honasan, Panfilo “Ping” Lacson , detained Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, returning Senators Franklin Drilon, Serge Osmeña, Vicente Sotto III and Ralph Recto, and Senator-elect Teofisto Guingona III.

Pangilinan was mum on the existence of the list.

“We will neither confirm nor deny that,” he told reporters in a text message. “Maraming listahan na binubuo ngayon sa pagitan ng mga senador. Maaaring isa lamang yan sa maraming listahan (Many lists are being formulated among the senators. Maybe that’s just one of them).”

Pangilinan belongs to the Liberal Party but his partymate, Drilon, is also eyeing the Senate top post.

But in an interview with radio DWIZ Thursday, Enrile denied signing anything even as he said he gave a verbal commitment to support one candidate for the post, but that would not be Senator Manny Villar.

“Hindi ako makakasama don sa dati kong president sa Senado. Sapagkat ako ay di naman ako plastic. (I could not join the former Senate president. Because I’m not a hypocrite,” said Enrile.

“Kung ano binitawan kong salita paninindigan ko yun. At walang personalan (I stand by what I said. Nothing personal),” said Enrile, who replaced Villar when the latter was forced to step down after losing the support of his colleagues in the chamber amid a corruption scandal.

“Ako, either Kiko or Frank. Ang problema ni Frank, hindi n’ya makuha si Serge. Pero si Kiko, makukuha niya (For me, it’s Kiko or Frank. The problem with Frank is that he can’t get the support of Serge. Kiko could do that),” Enrile said.

Unlike the LP, Enrile counted only nine senators for the candidate of Villar’s Nacionalista Party but three of them—Senators Edgardo Angara, Loren Legarda and Ramon “Bong” Revilla—might eventually leave the group.

“So ang sigurado lang na makakasama kay Manny ay anim. Anim lang. ‘Yong (tatlo) dun ay maaring kakakalas yan (So the only sure to join Manny are six. Six only. Three of them could later jump ship,” he said.

The six sure votes for NP, Enrile said, are from Villar, Senators Alan and Pia Cayetano, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Joker Arroyo, and newly elected Senator Ferdinand “Bong-Bong” Marcos.

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