MANILA - Senator Vicente "Tito" Sotto III on Wednesday said majority of the senators did not choose Senator Alan Peter Cayetano to become the next Senate President because of certain demands which included control over the chairmanships of major committees.
Sotto said Cayetano did not want incoming Senator Panfilo Lacson to be the head of the public order committee or Senator Loren Legarda to be the head the finance committee.
"Ayaw nila si [Panfilo] Lacson sa public order, si Loren [Legarda] sa finance," said Sotto.
He said Cayetano did not want Senator-elect Manny Pacquiao as chairman of the committee on games and amusements.
Cayetano also wanted Senator Cynthia Villar as finance committee chair, Sotto added.
Sotto said Senator Koko Pimentel was very open during their talks and did not even mention the Senate presidency. "He was very open dahil wala siyang do's and dont's," he said.
At least 14 senators are backing Pimentel to be the next Senate president instead of Cayetano, the running-mate of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.
Sotto said Cayetano and his group should still join the majority under Pimentel if he really wants to support the legislative agenda of President-elect Duterte.
Cayetano earlier said Duterte will risk slowing his reform agenda if Pimentel assumes the Senate leadership, noting that his colleague has agreed to give committee chairmanships to senators who do not agree with the president-elect's platform.