Sotto as next Senate President? No problem, says Palace
MALACAÑANG is not worried with the looming change in the Senate’s leadership, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on Friday.
Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte respects the decision of the upper chamber to replace Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III.
“Nirerespeto naman po namin ang karapatan ng mga senador na pumili ng kanilang pinuno. So hindi po nanghihimasok ang Presidente at ang Palasyo diyan sa proseso ng pagpili ng bagong Senate President,” Roque told reporters in an interview.
On Thursday, 14 or majority out of 23 senators signed a draft resolution electing Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III as the next Senate leader.
With his development, Roque believes the close relationship between the Duterte administration and the Senate would not change, citing Sotto as a known ally of the President.
As the Senate reorganization looms, senators point to Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri as the next likely Majority Leader to replace Sotto.
“If chosen, I will perform with the same work ethic as I had in the previous 14th Congress where we passed a record number of bills into law at over 600 Republic Acts,” said Zubiri, who served as the chamber’s Majority Leader in 2008 to 2010.
“I am deeply honored that my colleagues have once again considered me as their Majority Floor Leader if and when the change in the Senate leadership happens,” he said in a text message when asked to react to the endorsement from his peers.
At least three senators in the majority coalition said Zubiri was emerging as the strongest candidate to take over from Sotto once the latter had replaced Pimentel.
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