Alan Peter Cayetano, Senate Majority Leader and vice presidential running mate of presumptive President Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte, proudly confessed on Monday his interest in becoming the president of the senate.
“Wala pa akong nakitang senador na hindi interested na maging Senate President. Let’s not be hypocritical about it,” said Cayetano when inquired about his heart on the said post.
(I have not seen any senator not interested to become the Senate President.)
“But it’s really a consensus e. Kailangan mo ng at least 13 senators pero sa bigat ng legislative agenda ni presumptive President siguro kailangan mo ng majority ng between 15 to 18 kasi halimbawa sa death penalty, hindi porke sa majority e payag na sa death penalty. Yung pagtaas ng sweldo ng police, we want to do that right away pero this early, may mga nagsasabi na you can’t do that without the others,” Cayetano said.
(But it's really a consensus. You need at least 13 senators but with the weight of presumptive President's legislative agenda maybe you need a majority of a 15 to 18 because for example in death penalty, not just because majority is for death penalty. The increase in salary of our police, we want to do that right away but this early, some say that you can’t do that without the others.)
Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III stated that there were eleven (11) other senators pushing him for the position.
Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson stood on a firm no when asked about it.
Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III also voiced out his intention to pursue the post.
Cayetano clarified that he previously had an exchange with the presumptive President and Senator Pimentel on the issue of the Senate presidency.
“But nagkakaintindihan naman kami and malinaw naman ang direction namin as a group so if he’s going to change direction, it’s really up to him,” Cayetano said, pertaining to Pimentel.
(But we obviously understand each other and our direction as a group is clear.)
He, however, kept mum on who Duterte’s preferred candidate is. He just said that the Philippines is a free country and consequently, anyone can declare his or her intention to run.
Cayetano added that no one can know exactly who would get the seat as senate president until the final bell rings or until the vote counting. He further said that it is easier to have a consensus in committee chairmanship and in passing laws.