Tolentino urging Villar to challenge Senate presidency – Lacson
MANILA, Philippines — Senator-elect Francis Tolentino is allegedly urging Sen. Cynthia Villar to challenge the leadership of Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III.
In a text message to Sotto, Senator-elect Imee Marcos said it was Tolentino who was talking and pushing for Villar.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson made this new revelation, citing his conversation with Sotto this Saturday.
“Ito naibahagi sa akin ni SP [Senate President] kaninang umaga. Nagpadala ng text message si Senator-elect Imee Marcos at humingi ng paumanhin,” Lacson said in an interview over AM radio station DWIZ.
[The SP shared this with me this morning. Senator-elect Imee Marcos sent a text message and apologized.]
“Sabi niya misunderstanding. Kaya niya lang nabanggit yan kasi kapartido niya si Senator Villar. Kaya siyempre kung tanungin siya kung susuportahan niya Senator Villar alangan bang sabihin niyang hindi.”
“So humingi siya ng paumanhin kay SP at sabi niya misunderstanding lang yan,” Lacson added.
Last Thursday, in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel, Marcos said she would support Villar, her partymate in the Nacionalista Party (NP), should there be a change in Senate leadership.
“At sinabi niya ang talagang kumausap kay Senator Villar si Senator-elect Tolentino, at yan talaga ang nagpu-push na subukan na makipagsapalaran, makipagtunggali at baka sakaling makakkuha ng numero. Pero lahat yan parang pagpaplano,” Lacson went on.
[And she said that it was Senator Villar who talked with Senator-elect Tolentino and that he was the one really pushing for Villar to try her luck and go against Sotto. But that’s apparently just a plan.]
Lacson said Marcos, in her text message to Sotto, also claimed she had not made her own initiative to participate in any ouster move.
“Tama lang yan. Pinagtapat niya rin nagsimula yan dahil kumausap kay Senator Villar si Tolentino,” Lacson said.
[That’s just right. She also admitted that it all started when Tolentino talked with Senator Villar.]
He said he had no idea why Tolentino, a member of the ruling PDP-Laban, was eager to change the Senate leadership.
“Kasi dapat tanungin siya [Tolentino] pag nariyan siya sa Senado bakit ganyan ang kanyang direksyon. Hindi pa naman niya natitikman ang liderato ni SP eh,” he said.
All newly elected senators will officially assume their posts when the 18th Congress opens in July.
But even before that, Lacson has already drafted a resolution to find out who are still supportive of Sotto’s leadership.
He said he would route the resolution for the signature of senators on Monday.
Lacson said the idea was originally proposed by Tolentino’s party mate, Sen. Manny Pacquiao.
(Editor: Alexander T. Magno)
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