Zubiri gaining ground in Senate presidency bid, sources say

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 16 2022 04:35 PM

Senatorial candidate Miguel Zubiri at the UniTeam miting de avance on Aseana Avenue in Parañaque on May 7, 2022. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News
Senatorial candidate Miguel Zubiri at the UniTeam miting de avance on Aseana Avenue in Parañaque on May 7, 2022. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News


MANILA — Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri is said to be gaining ground in his bid to corner the Senate presidency post, some chamber sources said Monday.

At least 2 senators who will be part of the incoming 19th Congress said that "majority" of their present and incoming colleagues have already committed their support for Zubiri.

An aspiring Senate President (SP) must have at least 13 supporters to bag the post.

Apart from Zubiri, other senators said to be vying for the upper house's top post include Sherwin Gatchalian and Cynthia Villar.

Sources, however, frown at Gatchalian's intention to be the next Senate President "just because he landed number 4 in the 2022 elections."

"Hindi naman ganoon ang labanan doon eh. Eh di sana kung pagiging top lang ang labanan, eh 'di si Robin Padilla na ang gawin naming SP," one of the sources said.

(That's not how it works. If topping the elections is the basis for wanting to become Senate President, then we should make Robin Padilla SP.)

"Ang kailangan kasi sa SP is someone who can unify the chamber, someone who knows the parliamentary rules," the source added.

(What we need as SP is someone who can unify the chamber, someone who knows the parliamentary rules.)

One of the senators who requested anonymity also claimed that having Villar as their next Senate head would be "dangerous" as future dealings of the chamber "might become transactional."

"The last person that you would want to see in the podium is someone who is hot-headed, who does not know the rules and who doesn't observe proper decorum," the source pointed out.

"We need someone who is level-headed, knows proper decorum and one who follows the rules," the source added.

Villar declined to comment on the matter, with her media officer saying that it was still "too early" to discuss the SP race.

ABS-CBN News is waiting for Gatchalian's comment, as of posting.

For his part, former senator Antonio Trillanes IV pointed out the importance of a sitting Senate President, who is third in the line of succession as stated in the 1987 Constitution.

The SP oversees the Senate's budget and has the "autonomy" to manage the chamber's annual budget. He or she also has his own "confidential funds" which is equivalent to the president's intelligence fund.

Contrary to the information from the 2 ABS-CBN sources, Trillanes said he learned that Villar was leading the Senate presidency race. He said she would be the "most independent" among the candidates. 

"Unifying figure yan eh, kasi parang motherly 'yung dating. Parang principal sa eskwelahan. So, she can reign in lalo na 'yung sa mga bata, mga bagong senador. Mas magkakaroon s'ya ng gravitas na tinatawag," he said. 

(She's a unifying figure because she seems motherly. She's like a school principal. She can reign in the younger members, the new senators. She will have so-called gravitas.) 

RELATED VIDEO: 

Watch more News on iWantTFC