Villar explains refusal to sign resolution backing Sotto
MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Cynthia Villar said the reason she refused to sign the resolution supporting the current Senate leadership was not because she was interested in becoming Senate President herself.
Fourteen of 23 senators signed the resolution, which expressed unequivocal support for the continued leadership of Sen. Vicente Sotto III.
But Villar refused to sign, even confronting Senators Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and Manny Pacquiao for dragging her into their rift over the Senate leadership.
“They were asking me to sign,” Villar told reporters. “I told them, ikaw Manny, ikaw ang nagpapa-sign. Ayusin mo muna yung partido mo bago ka pumirma diyan. Baka pirma ka ng pirma dyan, yung mga kapartido mo may complaint.”
[I told them: ‘You Manny, you’re the one asking us to sign. Fix your party first before signing it. You might sign it even if your party mates have complaints.]
“In my behalf naman, I can’t sign because we have two newcomers from NP (Nacionalista Party). I want them to talk to them about the issues bago ako pumirma.”
“Hindi kasi maganda na pipirma ako tapos maiiwan yung dalawa kong bagong papasok sa Senado na NP,” she added.
[It won’t look good for me to sign and leave behind the two NP newcomers to the Senate.]
Villar was apparently referring to Senators-elect Pia Cayetano and Imee Marcos, her party mates in the NP.
She said her refusal to sign the resolution did not mean that she was also interested in the Senate presidency.
“Ah hindi. Alam mo naman ako, hindi ako mahilig sa ganyan,” she said.
[No. You know me, I’m not interested in that.]
In a television interview last week, Marcos disclosed that there was a move to push for Villar as the next Senate President.
In a text message, Marcos later apologized to Sotto and revealed that it was Senator-elect Francis Tolentino who was egging Villar to challenge the Senate presidency.
Tolentino, Pimentel, and Pacquiao belong to the ruling PDP-Laban.
Villar neither confirmed nor denied that Tolentino was pushing her to run for Senate President.
“Hindi na yun issue, di ba?” she said when asked if Tolentino indeed talked to her about the Senate presidency.
[That’s no longer an issue, is it?]
When pressed for an answer, Villar simply said: “That’s immaterial.”
Once all things had been settled with her party mates, Villar said she would also sign the resolution.
“Oo, kung makausap nila at maayos sila, I’m willing to sign,” she said.
[Yes, once I have talked with them and they’re OK with it, I’m willing to sign.]
(Editor: Alexander T. Magno)