MANILA, Philippines?There will be one vote less for the Liberal Party (LP) of presumptive president-elect Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. in the incoming Senate.
Senator-elect Sergio Osmeña III, who ran as a guest candidate of the LP in the May election, made his sentiments clear about what he thought of the Aquino?s party, with which he was nominally allied during the elections, and its fortunes in the 15th Congress.
?Hollow block,? he said, and then laughed, when asked by ANC?s Karen Davila if he would join the LP in the Senate.
?How can a party of four impose on others because they are LP? I don?t buy that,? Osmeña said.
?I will vote whichever way my conscience tells me,? he said airily.
Osmeña stressed that he had not joined the LP, so it was not true that he had left it, he said.
?I didn?t leave LP. I was never in LP. When Aquino approached me, it was for a coalition. But they wanted control and I criticized them,? he said.
Osmeña had threatened to quit the LP senatorial line-up after Ralph Recto, who had served President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as socioeconomic planning secretary, was added to the party?s senatorial slate.
According to Osmeña, it?s going to be a wait-and-see attitude among the senators as far as the Senate presidency is concerned.
Besides senator-elect Franklin Drilon, who is likely to be fielded by the LP, Sen. Francis Pangilinan, another LP member, has also thrown his hat into the Senate presidency race.
?Kiko [Pangilinan] is a good friend,? said Osmeña.
Sen. Manuel Villar, the Nacionalista Party standard-bearer who is placing a distant third in the unofficial count, is said to have the numbers to clinch the Senate presidency.