New ‘Magic 7’ of Senate? Zubiri says his group will stay as a bloc

zubiri senate

New Magic 7 of Senate? Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri’s group posed for a picture after a Senate shake-up on Monday. Photo c/o Senator Joel Villanueva

MANILA, Philippines — Former Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and his allies have decided to remain as a bloc in the upper chamber while still weighing their options.

But for now, you may call them “Magic 7,” according to Zubiri.

“Ang pinagusapan namin ay manatili kaming isang bloke; pito kami and you can call us whatever you want, Magic 7,” he said in an interview on Tuesday.

(What we discussed is that we remain as a bloc; we are seven and you can call us whatever you want or Magic 7.)

His group is composed of himself, Senators Loren Legarda, Joel Villanueva, JV Ejercito, Sonny Angara, Nancy Binay, and Sherwin Gatchalian.

“We’re together. Buong-buo po ang suporta namin sa isa’t isa at hindi pa namin alam kung mananatili pa kaming dependent so were still discussing it,” he said.

(We’re together. We fully support each other and we don’t know yet if we will remain independent, so we are still discussing it)

When Zubiri resigned from his post on Monday, Legarda also vacated her post as Senate President Pro Tempore while Villanueva resigned as Majority leader and concurrent chairman of the committee on rules.

READ: Zubiri quits as Senate President: I leave with my head held high 

Ejercito stepped down as Deputy Majority leader and as head of the committees on local government, and urban planning, housing, and resettlement; while Binay resigned from her chairmanship of the committees on accounts, ethics, and tourism.

READ: Villanueva, Binay, Angara, Ejercito, Legarda follow Zubiri’s resignation 

Angara, meanwhile, resigned as chairman of the finance committee and the subcommittee on constitutional amendments.

While discussing his options, Villanueva mentioned the offer of the new Senate leadership to lead some committees.

He also raised the possibility of joining the minority bloc, which is being headed by Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and his lone member, Senator Risa Hontiveros.

“Pinag-uusapan din namin ni (I’m discussing that with) Senator Koko ‘yan, if others will join me, what’s gonna happen and all. I think we have enough time to decide on it,” he said in another interview.

When asked if the leadership of the minority has been offered to him, Villanueva said they have yet to talk about it.

“I sincerely respect and even if I join the minority na siya ang (with him as ) Minority leader, I don’t think I will have problems with that. I have so much respect for the man, and I think masaya rin ako na na-acknowledge niya ‘yung kontribusyon namin (I’m glad he acknowledges our contribution),” he said.