MANILA, Philippines – Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago on Thursday warned re-electionist senators, who have allegedly “double-crossed” the influential Iglesia Ni Cristo “during a recent political controversy.”
Santiago said the campaign survey results might “undergo radical changes” when the INC releases the names of candidates it would support in the upcoming elections. The religious group , she noted, reportedly now has nine million voters.
“I understand that the official INC list of approved candidates will be released soon. I further understand that INC, out of patriotism, took a strong position during a recent political controversy,” she said in a statement.
“Certain re-electionist senators reportedly promised to support the INC position, but out of opportunism, reneged on their promise when the hour came.”
“Therefore, I issue this strong note of caution: The campaign survey results might undergo radical changes, after the INC releases its official list. In other words, you don’t double-cross the INC and get away with it,” the senator added.
But Santiago declined to divulge further details on this alleged incident, saying “it might violate the privacy of the INC.”
The senator also predicted a change of leadership in the Senate now being headed by its president, Senator Juan Ponce-Enrile.
The next Senate President, she said, would come from the administration coalition which will be composed of 16 senators.
“With 16 senators more or less in the Senate, it is a no-brainer that the administration will get to pick the next Senate President from the most senior members of the coalition,” she said.
“Depending on the effect of the solid INC vote,” Santiago said the administration coalition would be composed of Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, Paolo Benigno Aquino, Alan Peter Cayetano, Pia Cayetano, Franklin Drilon, Francis Escudero, Teofisto Guingona III, Loren Legarda, Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., Sergio Osmeña III, Aquilino Pimentel III, Grace Poe, Ralph Recto, Vicente Sotto III, Antonio Trillanes IV, and Cynthia Villar.
The incumbent Senate leader, she said, would be part of the opposition bloc along with Senators Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, Nancy Binay, JV Ejercito and Gregorio Honasan or Jack Ponce Enrile.
Santiago counted herself as part of a bloc of independent senators alogn with Senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Lito Lapid.