Enrile ‘shoo-in’ for Minority Leader post, says Estrada

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Senator Juan Ponce Enrile. FILE PHOTO

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.

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