MANILA, Philippines - The Liberal Party on Friday announced it will be fielding Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan for the Senate presidency in the next Congress.
"As a result of a month-long smooth consensus building process, it is the distinct honor and privilege of the Liberal Party to announce that we will be fielding as candidate for the Senate presidency, Senator Francis Pangilinan," LP president Mar Roxas announced in a press conference.
Roxas said the LP members were choosing among senators Pangilinan, Franklin Drilon, Ralph Recto and Teofisto "TG" Guingona III.
He said the 4 had a "fundamental agreement" that whoever is chosen by the party will be supported by the losing candidate.
Roxas said President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, the party's titular head, "was part of the process" but only as a regular member of the party.
He said President Aquino told them he will not intervene in the Senate presidency battle and he will "respect the independence of the Senate."
Drilon, who has served for several years as Senate President, said it was easy for him to concede to Pangilinan because of their main goal to push the legislative agenda of President Aquino.
"We transcended personal ambitions. We are here to push the legislative agenda of President Noynoy, the agenda on which he was elected," the veteran senator announced.
Meanwhile, Pangilinan said he has yet to talk to non-LP senators to convince them to vote for him.
He said that aside from the 4 LP members in the Senate, they are hoping to get the assurance of 3 to 4 more "natural allies" of the LP.
"Thirteen is the magic number. We might be able to draw from 10. 'Pag nakuha na ang 10, ang 3 ay madali nang mangyari," Pangilinan said.
He said he will not try to talk to Nacionalista Party members because there are rumors circulating that they are planning to field their own candidate for the Senate presidency.