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Race for Phillippine Senate presidency goes Global: From Asia to America

by Echo Park Community Coalition Saturday, Jul. 17, 2010 at 7:39 PM
epccla02@yahoo.com 818-749-0272 337 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, Ca 90026

The EPCC NEWS sources have confirmed that race for the Philippine Senate presidency has turned global. EPCC NEWS also confirmed it's three way fight between Pangilinan of LP, Villar of NP and Enrile of the PMP. Enrile allied itself with LP in attacking Villar of the NP during the last presidential elections. This will have an effect on the senate presidensial race on the Congress opening in July 26.

EPCC NEWS

July 16, 2010

Race for Phillippine Senate presidency goes Global: From Asia to America

Los Angeles- The EPCC NEWS sources have confirmed that race for the Philippine Senate presidency has turned global.

EPCC NEWS also confirmed it's three way fight between Pangilnan of LP, Villar of NP and Enrile of the PMP. Enrile allied itself with LP in attacking Villar of the NP during the last presidential elections. This will have an effect on the senate presidensial race on the Congress opening in July 26.

EPCC NEWS confirmed that Filipino senators vacationing in Asia or America, hoping for some private time before the July 26 opening of session, have not been able to hide from the “long arm” of the Senate.

According to Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri, the extent of the intramurals in the upper chamber of Congress has far exceeded expectations, with the Senate presidency still a touch-and-go affair compared to the largely settled speakership of the House of Representatives.

Wild Goose Chase in Asia and the United States

At a press conference Friday, Zubiri said former Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada was chasing Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. in Las Vegas to get his support for Sen. Francis Pangilinan, who was majority leader when Sen. Manuel Villar Jr. was Senate President.

Revilla is allied with Villar, who again wants to head the upper chamber after losing in the recently concluded presidential election.

“When I was talking on the phone with Senator Bong, he was beside Senator Jinggoy,” said Zubiri, stressing that Revilla had yet to make up his mind.

Just like Pangilinan, Villar’s six-year term ends in 2013.

Partisan pursuits

Zubiri himself was not spared from the partisan pursuits of his colleagues. He said another senator had called him up to solicit his support when he was in Singapore last week.

“He even wanted to follow me there,” said Zubiri, who traveled to the island-state with his wife, Audrey, and their baby, Adriana.

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago had told reporters that a group of senators had met abroad to discuss the issue of the Senate presidency. She did not provide details of the meeting, except to confirm that Villar had the numbers to reclaim the post he held until he was unceremoniously replaced in November 2008 by Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile.

In separate interviews, Zubiri and incoming Sen. Sergio Osmeña III had said that neither Villar nor Pangilinan had the numbers (13 votes) to win the election.

Interim presiding officer

If the stalemate continues, the upper House of the 15th Congress may be forced to make do with Enrile, who seems to have an ace up his sleeve.

Without any bloc getting the magic 13 votes, it’s not far-fetched that the reelected senator would be tapped as acting presiding officer to open the session and preside over the joint session of Congress to hear President Benigno Aquino III deliver his first State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Zubiri said the bloc that would have the most number of senators could designate Enrile as acting Senate President.

“We will debate on who will be the acting presiding officer unless there’s an alternative candidate who will come out of the woodwork. Enrile looks like an alternative. But the situation is fluid at this point,” he said.

Angara and Enrile blocs

Several senators had said that Senators Gregorio Honasan, Vicente Sotto III, Estrada and Zubiri would go for Enrile should he decide to contest the race.

Zubiri said he and Sen. Edgardo Angara would hold a meeting on Saturday with some members of a smaller bloc of senators that includes Senators Revilla and Manuel “Lito” Lapid.The fifth member of the bloc, Sen. Loren Legarda, was still in the United States.

If Sotto were to join the Angara bloc, so would his close friend, Honasan. The two earlier vowed to support Enrile “if he would be interested in the post.”

“But it’s a different story if Senator Enrile won’t run,” said Sotto in a phone interview.

Because of past family issues, Sotto is not on good terms with Pangilinan, who is married to singer-actress Sharon Cuneta, a niece of Sotto.

An independent Senate?

Zubiri claimed that Pangilinan would find it hard to get the support of Sotto and Honasan. “He (Honasan) wants an independent Senate. He’s probably open to both Villar and Enrile, [Honasan’s] former boss,” he said.

But Pangilinan managed to enlist the support of Lapid, a Villar ally, prompting Zubiri to say: “They have snatched one of us.”

Lapid had reportedly signed a resolution favoring Pangilinan on the condition that his son, Mark Lapid, would continue to serve as general manager of the Philippine Tourism Authority.

According to Osmeña, Pangilinan had already mustered 11 supporters in the incoming Senate, but this bloc includes detained Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and fugitive Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who are not expected to be present during the voting.

Several Theories

Theoretically, the remaining 12 members of the 23-member Senate would go for Villar, said Zubiri. But only if Revilla stayed with Villar, and if the whole Angara bloc threw its support behind Villar, he added.

This early, Zubiri said he foresees a possible breakup of the Angara bloc in so far as the Senate chief’s election was concerned, unless an “alternative candidate,” such as Enrile, joined the race.

“It’s becoming complicated. There’s a realignment of forces,” he said.

Zubiri said Villar could also support Enrile “as long as they bury the hatchet.” Some senators allied with Villar had indicated that in the event of a stalemate, they could support Enrile as Senate President for as long as the C-5 controversy was not revived, Zubiri said.

Kris Aquino, the presidential sister is supporting Pangilinan's ambition. The Senate presidency is a stepping stone to being a president in the future.

*********

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