Palace hopes Senate shakeup won't affect ties

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 18 2018 03:03 PM

Senator Vicente Sotto III. ABS-CBN News File Photo

MANILA - Malacañang said Friday it was hopeful that its close ties with the Senate would not change, even if a leadership change pushes through.

Fifteen senators this week signed a resolution seeking to reorganize the chamber with Majority Leader Vicente "Tito" Sotto as Senate president, replacing the incumbent, Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III.

"Naniniwala ang Palasyo na kahit sino pong mahalal na Senate President - at ang balita po ay si Senator Tito Sotto - ay napakalapit din pong alyado ni Senator Tito Sotto, wala pong magbabago sa malapit na samahan at kooperasyon na ngayon ay mayroon sa panig ng Senado at ng Malacañang," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

(The Palace believes that whoever is elected Senate president, and there's news that it will be Sen. Tito Sotto, who is a very close ally, our close relationship and cooperation between the Senate and Malacañang will not change.)

Those who have signed the resoltuion as of Thursday include Senators Loren Legarda, Nancy Binay, Sonny Angara, Joel Villanueva, Gringo Honasan, Panfilo Lacson, Miguel Zubiri, Manny Pacquiao, Cynthia Villar, Francis Escudero, Richard Gordon, Ralph Recto, and JV Ejercito.

Honasan said there would be a majority caucus on Monday, where the Senate leadership might be tackled.

Senate sources claim Pimentel requested Sotto to allow him to stay as Senate President until October 18, which Sotto’s camp reportedly refused.

Pimentel was elected Senate leader in 2016 at the start of the 17th Congress. He is also president of the ruling PDP-Laban Party.

Sotto is on his fourth non-consecutive term as senator. He was first elected in 1992, after a stint as Quezon City councilor.