SENATE Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday claimed that 15 senators committed to support his bid for the Senate presidency but Sen. Vicente Sotto 3rd downplayed Cayetano’s claim, saying commitment is different from actual votes.
Cayetano admitted that he is not sure if he will be elected.
“I don’t want it to be a game of numbers at this point in time. There are those who also already signed. Others have given their commitment. Until the final day that you get elected, nothing is 100 percent,” he said.
Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao was the first to sign a manifesto declaring support to Cayetano’s bid.
But Sotto said 18 senators gave their commitment to support another candidate for the Senate presidency.
“Everybody has commitments, it’s easy to commit. The important thing is when you vote,” he added.
Sotto said Pacquiao was among the 18 senators who committed to support another candidate. Sen. Aquilino Pimentel 3rd, the president of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), which is chaired by President Rodrigo Duterte, also gave his commitment to their bloc.
“It’s not that easy. They have to realize first if you have the same objectives, if you have the same advocacies then you come up with the majority for the Senate. An independent, a Senate with integrity,” he added.
Meanwhile, Cayetano said major factor in the Senate presidency race are the committee chairmanships because the heads of the different blocs in the chamber want to protect their members.
He added that it will be difficult to grant all the committee chairmanship requests of senators.
Cayetano said they have settled the chairmanship of at least 13 committees including the Public services, finance and public order.
The Public Services committee handles matters affecting public services and utilities; communications; land, air, river and sea transportation including railroads, inter-island navigation, and lighthouses; and the grant or amendment of legislative franchises.
The panel on public order and illegal drugs is in charge of matters relating to peace and order; the Philippine National Police; the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology; the Bureau of Fire Protection; private security agencies and the use, sale, acquisition, possession, cultivation, manufacture and distribution of prohibited and regulated drugs and other similar substances.
The finance committee handles all matters relating to funds for the expenditures of the National Government and for the payment of public indebtedness; auditing of accounts and expenditures of the National Government; claims against the government; inter-governmental revenue sharing; and, in general, all matters relating to public expenditures.