• Drilon assured of Senate presidency

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    SEN. Franklin Drilon may be too humble to admit it, but glaring indications show that the Senate presidency is for his taking.

    On Wednesday during the celebration of the 115th Independence Day celebration in Kawit, Cavite, Transportation and Communication Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya introduced Drilon as the next Senate President. Drilon told the crowd that Abaya was only kidding.

    He maintained that the Senate presidency is decided by at least 13 senators. Drilon has said there is no guarantee that he will get the post despite the assurances given earlier by some senators.

    The Liberal Party (LP) bloc will have four senators including Drilon in the 16th Congress.

    The Nacionalista Party (NP) of Sen. Manny Villar with five incumbent senators also vowed to remain loyal to the administration coalition, meaning it will also go for Drilon.

    With nine senators backing Drilon’s candidacy, he only needs at least four senators to get the position.

    Team PNoy coalition members Senators Francis Escudero, Aquilino Pimentel 3rd, Juan Edgardo Angara and Grace Poe-Llamanzares said they would vote for Drilon.

    Sen. Loren Lagarda, also part of the administration coalition, is expected to support Drilon, although she has not yet issued any statement regarding the matter.

    Drilon reportedly offered Legarda the post of Senate majority leader, which was recently vacated by Senator Vicente Sotto 3rd, her partymate at the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), but she declined.

    Legarda served as majority leader from 2002 to 2004 under the Senate presidency of Drilon.

    Legarda said that she would rather focus on committee work than hold another post in the chamber.

    Sen. Serge Osmeña 3rd, though not a member of the administration coalition, is a known ally of Pre­sident Benigno Aquino 3rd. Osmeña could also vote for Drilon.

    Sen. Miriam Santiago, who recently said that the Senate presidency will be a contest between Drilon and Alan Peter Cayetano, will also likely go for Drilon.

    Sen. Lito Lapid, one of the two members of the Lakas party in the Senate, is also expected to support Drilon’s candidacy.

    The seven remaining senators including Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr. of Lakas are likely to join the minority bloc, which will be headed by former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.

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