Issue on senate presidency in 17th Congress, solved – Sen. Koko Pimentel
admin • July 1, 2016 • 3795
Sen. Koko Pimentel
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Koko Pimentel do not see the senate presidency as a big issue among him and his colleagues.
He said, the issue is already settled because he already secured the enough number or the support of his colleagues in the Senate.
Sen. Pimentel confirmed that 17 senators already have signified their favor of him becoming the next senate president.
Senators of the Majority bloc said it is but rightful that the next senate leader should come from PDP-Laban or the same party as President Rodrigo Duterte.
“As far as I know that’s already settled. You have a resolution with 14 signatures and I have 2 senators who said that they would join. So, 14 plus 2 equals 16. Add myself, so that’s 17,” Sen. Pimentel said confidently.
Pimentel also revealed that even Senator JV Ejercito has signified his intention to join the Majority bloc though the latter has yet to sign the resolution.
According to Pimentel, he wants to talk to Senator Cayetano but he wants it to be personal and on the day when President Rodrigo Duterte is not preoccupied.
Pimentel said, among the priorities that the Senate plans to discuss and pass in the 17th Congress are the:
Constitutional Convention towards Federalism bill; Death Penalty Bill; Anti-political Dynasty Bill; Income Tax Reform Bill; And the Emergency Power Bill in order to solve the transportation and traffic crisis in Metro Manila.
The bill on emergency power was already filed by incumbent senate president Franklin Drilon while senators Tito Sotto and Panfilo Lacson filed the Death Penalty Bill.
According to Drilon, under the Senate Bill 11, the President will be authorized to adopt alternative methods of procurement for the construction repair, rehabilitation, improvement or maintenance of transportation projects in order to reduce traffic congestion in Metro Manila and other urban areas.
Some senators are still not sold on the idea of instilling changes in the 1987 Constitution in the 18th Congress.
This, despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s manifestations of pursuing the charter change.
Senator Franklin Drilon said it is still uncertain as to how senators will vote on the proposed constitutional amendment.
Drilon said, “(It is) difficult to predict at this time how the senators will vote. Senate prides itself as independent of Malacañang.”
“Plus, I sense that a number of my colleagues have a “moist eye” on the Presidency in 2022, and may not support an amendment which may lead to a shift to federalism,” he added.
Liberal Party president, Senator Francis Pangilinan, who held the chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes, meanwhile, said the fate of the charter change will depend on composition of the Senate.
“That all depends on the majority. We will see how it goes given the new composition of the Senate,” Pangilinan said.
Senator Ralph Recto, on the other hand, said he still wants to have the cha-cha proposal scrutinized.
“We’ll have to take a look at details of the cha-cha proposal,” he said.
Senator Panfilo Lacson, meanwhile, believes that majority of the senators have not wavered in their stance regarding the charter change.
“It’s a little more complicated than what the President and the House want. Why? We are simply back to the same question, which is to clarify the ambiguity of the provision in the Constitution that deals with the manner of voting by Congress constituting itself into a constituent assembly,” Lacson said.
He further said, “Again, in doing so, we are faced with a chicken and egg situation. If it’s via ConCom, do we have enough time to accomplish it before the end of his term?”
Neophyte senator Francis Tolentino, however, believes that the passage of the proposed change in the form of government can still happen during President Duterte’s term.
“Tapos na yung preparatory work ng ConCom. Yung ginawa ni former Justice Puno [The preparatory work in ConCom is finished. What former Justice Puno did], it was commissioned by the executive branch. May napadala na silang report at nasa infancy stage na yung kauna unahang version nito yung sa Bangsamoro. Hindi pa siguro huli ang lahat [They were able to send their report and the very first version of it – the Bangsamor- is already at the infancy stage. Maybe it’s not yet too late,” Tolentino said.
The proposed charter change was able to slightly move in the Lower House during the 17th Congress.
It was, however, stalled in the Senate until the Congress adjourned. (with reports from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf
Senator Panfilo Lacson has drafted a resolution that aimed at assuring that Senate President Vicente Sotto III will keep his leadership in the Upper Chamber of Congress.
He said the idea came from Senator Manny Pacquiao.
“Actually, the idea was originally proposed by Sen Manny Pacquiao. The resolution to be routed is about a vote of confidence in the leadership of SP Sotto,” Lacson said.
He added that this move was prompted by the “insinuations made by Senators-elect Marcos and Tolentino for a leadership change for whatever motives they have — whether it’s posturing to get their desired committee chairmanships or serious attempts to elect a new Senate leader.”
Even Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri had also refused to further comment on the issue that floats the name of Senator Cynthia Villar in the Senate presidency.
“I won’t comment on the push for Senator Villar by the newly elected senators as I’m close to both Villar and Sotto. However, my last conversation with Tita Cynthia was that she was not interested. And, yes, I will sign the Manifesto for SP Sotto,” Zubiri said.
Villar had earlier on signified that she has no interest on the said position.
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