Drilon not yet a shoo-in for Senate president - Villar | Inquirer News

Drilon not yet a shoo-in for Senate president – Villar

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 03:50 PM June 25, 2013

Sen. Franklin Drilon FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines– Senator Franklin Drilon is not yet a shoo-in for president of the Senate, outgoing Senator Manny Villar, president of the Nacionalista Party (NP), said Tuesday.

NP, one of the biggest blocs in the Senate, is composed of Villar’s wife Senator-elect Cynthia Villar, re-elected Senator Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV, incumbent Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and sister Pia Cayetano, and Ferdinand “Bong-Bong” Marcos Jr.


“It’s not over until it’s over,” said the outgoing senator.


“(He’s not yet) 100 percent (but) almost there. I’m just saying that right now, nobody comes close…Even Frank realizes this, wala namang 100 percent sa Senado, (There’s no 100 percent in the Senate),” he said.

While it was true that NP and Drilon’s Liberal Party (LP) have agreed to field a common candidate for the highest post in the Senate, Manny Villar clarified that the agreement was not specific that Drilon would be their common bet.

Asked then if the NP was considering fielding its own bet for the post, he said it was not impossible but “not likely.”

Even if NP is considered a significant bloc in the chamber, he pointed out that they would still need to get 13 votes if they were to field a candidate for Senate president.

“We’ve seen these equations but in the end nag-uusap usap naman kami what is the most pragmatic thing to do, what is the most practical about this, what is most beneficial to everyone,” he said.

“But I’d like to repeat that at as far as I’m concerned lahat naman ng (all) NP senators are capable to be Senate president kaya lang titingnan mo lahat ng consideration and in the end we came up with this.”


Besides, he reminded that a Senate president could still be replaced anytime by a member of the chamber if he musters the number needed to unseat the sitting president.

“(You know, a) Senate president, can be changed everyday. Pwedeng na-elect ka today, tomorrow hindi ka na Senate president. This is just for the opening,” said Manny Villar, who was also Senate President until he was ousted in 2008. He was replaced by Senator Juan Ponce-Enrile, who resigned early this month.

The outgoing senator admitted that the NP has been haggling to get major committees and while some of their request had been satisfied, many are also still being negotiated.

“Of course naman, syempre kung hihingi ng committee e di major na bakit naman minor ang gusto mo?”

And if they were not satisfied with the distribution of committees, then Manny Villar said: “We will talk about it again.”

Asked again if NP was willing to join the minority group, he said, “These things are possible but they are not probable.”

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But Villar was confident that Drilon, the administration bet for Senate president, could resolve the issues on the committee chairmanships.

TAGS: Liberal Party, Manny Villar, Nation, News

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