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Duterte, ‘independent’ Senate can work together — solons

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 12:53 PM May 12, 2016
Rodrigo Duterte

Front-running presidential candidate Mayor Rodrigo Duterte gestures during a news conference shortly after voting in a polling precinct at Daniel R. Aguinaldo National High School, Matina district, his hometown in Davao city in southern Philippines Monday, May 9, 2016. Duterte was the last to vote among five presidential hopefuls. AP FILE PHOTO

Presumptive President Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte can expect an “independent” Senate that can have a working relationship with him, two senators have said.

While they kept mum on the possible changes in the next composition of the chamber, incumbent Senate President Franklin Drilon and reelected Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III assured Duterte that the Senate will work with him.

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READ: Drilon mum on leadership change or looming opposition in Senate

“We’re looking towards an independent Senate that can have a working relationship with the new President,” Sotto said in a text message on Thursday.

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Sotto ran under the senatorial tickets of Senator Grace Poe, who has conceded defeat in the presidential race to Duterte, and Vice President Jejomar Binay, who is trailing in the partial and unofficial canvassing of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Transparency Server.

Drilon, vice chair of Liberal Party (LP),  also expressed readiness to work with the new President.

“We will eagerly await the legislative agenda of the presumptive President Digong Duterte. He has the mandate of the people, we will work with him, but as I said we will await his legislative agenda for the next Congress,” the Senate leader said in an interview Wednesday.

Drilon also expects that the budget proposal for 2017, which should be submitted within 30 days after the new Congress opens in July, will contain the policy direction of the new government.

“Certainly the inputs of the incoming administration will be respected and we will expect the budget to contain the policy direction of the administration of Mayor Duterte,” he added.

The terms of half of the 24 senators will expire on June 30, 2016, including those of Sotto, Drilon and Senator Ralph Recto, who ran for reelection in the May 9 polls. The two are part of the “Magic 12” in the Senate based on the partial and unofficial counts.

The 9 others whose terms will expire in June are detained Senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Miriam Defensor Santiago, Pia Cayetano, Manuel “Lito” Lapid, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., Sergio “Serge” Osmena III, and Teofisto “TG” Guingona III.

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Osmena and Guingona also ran for reelection but they were not part of the Magic 12, based on the ongoing partial and unofficial tally.

Santiago was among the four presidential aspirants who ran against Duterte while her running mate Marcos, is neck and neck with administration candidate Camarines Sur Rep. Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo as shown in the latest tally.

The results of the latest tally showed that seven senatorial hopefuls who made it to the Magic 12 came from the LP-led ticket and they are Drilon, former Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (Tesda) Director-General Joel Villanueva, returning Senators Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, former Akbayan Representative Risa Hontiveros, Recto and former Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

Drilon, Pangilinan, Recto and De Lima are LP members while Villanueva and Lacson are independent candidates.

The five who are also in the Magic 12 are Sotto, returning Senators Richard Gordon and Juan Miguel Zubiri, Sarangani Rep. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao and Valenzuela Rep. Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian. RAM/rga

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TAGS: presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte, Senate, Senate President Franklin Drilon, Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III
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