Imee Marcos, Legarda eyeing Senate’s 2nd top post, says Angara
MANILA, Philippines — Incumbent Senator Imee Marcos and incoming Senator Loren Legarda have “expressed their preference” in getting the second top post in the Senate: the Senate President Pro Tempore, Senator Sonny Angara said on Wednesday.
Angara said members of the Senate majority of the incoming 19th Congress have yet to discuss who would be appropriate for the post.
“There’s a possibility but I think there are colleagues who expressed a preference for that [Senate President Pro Tempore],” he said in a Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum when asked if there is a possibility he will vie for the post.
“I think Senator Imee said she wanted it initially, then si Senator Loren is also interested in the position, so pag-uusapan pa siguro kung sino nararapat sa position na yan,” Angara added.
(I think we will still discuss who will be the right person for the position.)
The Senate President Pro Tempore is the second highest official in the Senate. He or she presides over the Senate when the Senate President is absent.
Senator Marcos is the eldest sister of presumptive president Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Meanwhile, Legarda is returning to the Senate for another term; she has served as a senator from 1998 to 2004 and from 2007 to 2019. She previously served as the chamber’s Majority Leader from 2002 to 2004.
Angara said he is seeing reelectionist Joel Villanueva as a contender for the post of Majority Leader of the Senate.
Villanueva, he said, had served as the Assistant Majority Leader in the 18th Congress, which puts him in the running for Majority Leader “seniority wise.”
Angara, however, said he does not know if Villanueva is interested in the post.
“I don’t know if Senator Joel is interested in that but seniority wise he’s also in the running for that because siya ‘yung Assistant Majority Leader,” he said.
“He’s also a second term senior senator. So I wouldn’t be surprised. Ayaw ko siya pangunahan but baka interesado siya,” he added.
(I don’t want to preempt [his decision] but he may be interested.)
Angara said that there are currently two strong contenders for the Senate Presidency: incumbent Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri and Senator Cynthia Villar.
Angara said it is only natural for Zubiri to vie for the Senate’s top post, having served as the Majority Leader three times and being a veteran senator.
“It is only natural for Senator Zubiri to aspire for the leadership, natural progression ‘yun,” he said.
Meanwhile, Villar is also a contender for the Senate presidency having served as the chair of the Senate committee on agriculture for many years and being a high-ranking official of Nacionalista Party, which has many members in the Senate.
“She is seen as one of a strong figure of national politics,” Angara said.