MANILA, Philippines—Senator Juan Ponce Enrile will be a “shoo-in” for the Minority Leader post in the Senate, acting Senate President Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada said on Thursday.
Estrada said he would nominate Enrile for Senate President when the 16th Congress opens in July even if they knew this early that the former Senate leader would lose to administration bet Senator Franklin Drilon.
“Yes, I will (nominate Enrile). Even if you don’t have the numbers, and of course definitely we don’t expect him to become the next Senate President again, he will become automatically the Minority Floor Leader. That’s why we have to nominate him as Senate President,” he said in a television interview, a transcript of which was furnished to Senate reporters.
“Senator Enrile will be a shoo-in for the post of Minority leader…,” said Estrada, who took over Enrile’s post after the latter announced his irrevocable resignation last week.
Estrada said the choice of the next Senate Pro Tempore, which he used to hold before he was appointed acting Senate President, would now be up to the next majority bloc in the chamber.
“That is the business of the majority already. And I think Senator Alan (Cayetano) is eyeing for the post and Senator (Loren) Legarda,” he said.
With the impending change in Senate leadership, Estrada also expects that there will be committee reorganization.
And he was thankful that Drilon had asked him to keep his chairmanship of the committee on labor.
“It was Senator Drilon who asked me to hold the chairmanship of the committee on labor. I said, “Thank you very much.” Kahit minority nabibigyan pa rin kami ng committee (Even the minority is being given committee assignments),” said Estrada.