Cayetano says 15 senators backing his presidency in Senate
The numbers game for the Senate presidency has started with Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano saying that at least 15 senators have already committed to support him while Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III claims that 18 have given their commitment to another contender.
The Senate has 24 members.
“Kung ngayon ang election, there are more than 15 or there are about 15 that have committed, but as I’ve said hindi naman ngayon ang election…,” Cayetano said in an interview at the Senate on Monday.
Cayetano said some of these senators already signed a resolution backing him as Senate President, while others only gave their commitment pending permission from their respective parties.
Several reports over the weekend showed Senator-elect Manny Pacquiao signing the resolution.
Asked how many have signed the resolution, Cayetano said: “I don’t want it to be a game of numbers at this point. And as I said, yung iba nandun nakapirma yung iba naman gave their commitment pero nagpapaalam muna.”
“Until the final day that we get elected, nothing is 100 percent. But the reality is yung committees ang pinaglalabanan and there are talks sa ibat-ibang head ng blocs how to protect their members pero hindi pwede lahat yung committee na gusto nila,” he added.
Sotto countered Cayetano’s claim and showed the media a photo of Pacquiao holding Cayetano’s resolution with no signature from other senators.
In fact, he said, Pacquaio was one of the 18 who have committed their support for another candidate.
“Eighteen kami,” Sotto said in another interview.
But as with Cayetano, these 18 senators have only given their commitments.
“Madali yang commitment. Ang importante, when you sit down and you vote. That’s the most important part,” he said.
“Pag naipit mo ang isa medyo mahihiya sa’yo: O sige, sige pero ang laging kasunod noon, I will consult my group,” Sotto said.
He added, “Ganun talaga. It’s normal. So I’m not surprised if any of the other Senate presidential aspirants would say that they have commitments. Everybody has commitments. It’s easy to commit. The important thing is when you vote.”
Asked if they were sure about the support of the 18 senators, Sotto said: “Of course hindi pa namin alam yung 18 namin. Hindi pa nga namin alam kung sino ang Senate president namin.”
Sotto earlier said that majority of his colleagues were pushing him to run for the presidency.
He said Senator Aqulino “Koko” Pimentel III, another contender for the post, has also been talking with them.
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