NP is saber-rattling, Escudero says

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Sen. Francis Escudero. INQUIRER.NET FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—saber-rattling was how Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero described on Wednesday a warning aired by some of his colleagues that Sen. Franklin Drilon could not be absolutely sure of becoming the next Senate President.

Escudero said it was possible that these senators were merely saber-rattling, referring to the practice of rival groups making threatening noises and ostentatiously displaying their military hardware to gain advantage in a negotiating table. The senators may just be trying to pressure Drilon into giving them the committee assignments they prefer, Escudero added.

In separate interviews, Nacionalista Party senators Manny Villar and Bongbong Marcos earlier warned that Drilon’s ascent remains uncertain unless he is able to distribute the Senate chairmanships in a way that would satisfy the majority he is courting at the moment.

Drilon has reportedly invited senators from various political parties—of which the NP comprises the biggest single bloc—to join him in a new administration-backed majority in the 24-member upper chamber.

Traditionally, a committee chairmanship is dangled as a means to attract support for an aspiring Senate president.

The Senate president needs to decide the chairmanships of 35 Senate regular committees and 39 joint oversight committees in a way that would satisfy the majority of his supporters.

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