MANILA, Philippines — Senator Manny Pacquiao and three presumptive senators want to preserve the status quo in the present Senate leadership.
Pacquiao relayed this sentiment in a recent phone call to Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III.
Sotto himself disclosed this when asked during the Kapihan sa Senado on Thursday if there is an assurance that he would keep his post when the new set of senators assume their post in July.
At first, the Senate leader reiterated that the decision would be up to the members of the majority bloc.
“I serve at their pleasure. I’ll leave [it up] to the members of the majority if they want to retain our leadership or if they want a leadership change,” he said.
Sotto shared, however, his recent phone conversation with Pacquiao, who was the campaign manager of the ruling PDP-Laban during the last May 13 elections.
“When Manny Pacquiao called me two days ago, what he was saying was that he was proposing that the leadership be retained at kausap na rin daw nya si (and he said he was talking to) Bong, si Bato, and Francis, I think,” he said.
He was apparently referring to former special assistant to the president, Christopher “Bong” Go, former Police Chief Ronaldo “Bato” Dela Rosa, and Francis Tolentino.
Based on official and unofficial counts, Go, Dela Rosa, and Tolentino are in the top 12 in the senatorial race.
“Sabi nya (Pacquiao): ‘Gusto namin pareho pa rin, parang ganun.’ Mabuti pa sila ang tanungin nyo. I cannot remember his exact words pero yun ang dating sa akin,” Sotto added.
(He said they wanted to retain the status quo. Maybe you should ask them. I cannot remember his exact words, but that is how I understood it.)
If the Senate leadership is retained, Sotto said Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri would likely stay in his post.
Sotto said the majority would still discuss the chairmanship of committees that would be vacated by outgoing senators such as the Senate committee on finance headed by Senator Loren Legarda.
Legarda, whose term will expire on June 30, was elected representative of Antique.
Sotto said Legarda’s committee may be handled by either Senate Pro Tempore Ralph Recto or Senator Panfilo Lacson. (Editor: Eden Estopace)
READ: Zubiri, Lacson brush off possible Senate leadership change
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.