Pimentel on Senate presidency rivalry: Cayetano has given way
Senator Alan Peter Cayetano has conceded the Senate presidency to Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, who now has the support of 18 of 24 members of the chamber.
Pimentel said he and Cayetano had already talked and the latter told had him that they belong to one camp.
“Opo, nag-usap na po kami. Sinabi na nga n’ya na (Yes, we have talked. He said that) we are one camp,” Pimentel said in an interview over DZMM on Friday.
“Okay na po at kelangan po ‘yung mga perceived na kasama n’ya ay inaayos ko na po ‘yung kanilang role sa majority (Everything is okay, I am just arranging the role in the majority of those who are perceived to be with him),” he added.
Asked if Cayetano had already accepted the decision of the majority of his colleagues in the Senate, Pimentel repeatedly answered yes.
“Ang sabi ni Senator Alan, we belong to one camp. Lahat kami supportive and protective of the President so magsama-sama po kami (Senator Alan said we belong to one camp. We are all supportive and protective of the President, so we will unite),” Pimentel said.
“Hindi pa lang nga s’ya nakapirma (sa resolution) at noong tinanong ko s’ya kung ano ang preferred committee n’ya, sabi n’ya unahin ko daw ‘yung mga kasama n’ya (He has not signed the resolution yet, and when I asked him what his preferred committee is, he told me to prioritize his allies),” he said, referring to a resolution electing him as the next Senate leader.
The resolution, he said, has now the signatures of 18 senators.
Pimentel said the latest signatories were from Cayetano’s group — Senators Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, Juan Miguel Zubiri, and Richard Gordon. Neophyte Senator Joel Villanueva, he said, also affixed his signature.
The new signatories brought the total number of the new “supermajority” in the Senate to 19, including Pimentel.
“So dati po 15, ngayon 19 na kami (We used to be just 15, now we are 19),” Pimentel said.
The five senators who have not signed the resolution are Cayetano, Cynthia Villar, Ralph Recto, Antonio Trillanes IV, and Francis “Chiz” Escudero. IDL/rga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.