Zubiri on race for Senate presidency: Everyone is capable

Anjo Bagaoisan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 19 2022 02:56 AM | Updated as of May 19 2022 11:22 AM

MANILA – Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri said on Wednesday anyone on the Senate is ready to become the next Senate president.

But he said that it is too early to talk about the issue of leading the upper chamber amid the proclamation of the winning slate.

“Wala akong karibal dito, decision yan ng senate. I’m not running against anyone, it could be Sen. Chiz [Escudero], it could be Sen. Sherwin [Gatchalian], it could be Sen. Villar. It could be anyone,” he told reporters before the proclamation.

“At the end of the day kaming lahat ang mag-uusap, everyone is capable, even Robin Padilla, why not?”

Padilla led the senatorial race, based on the latest official Commission of Elections count used for the proclamation.

Zubiri said he and others who will be pro-administration are hoping to form a supermajority with the numbers they have, adding he is one of those pressed to lead.

He said they would use that block to help incoming president Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s admin to pass laws that would help the country “move forward” and develop. 

“Nagbuo kami ng bloc, it’s a fairly large bloc who believe in the sanctity of the senate in terms of traditions and rules, independence, the right of every senator to speak their mind and air their voice and vote on particular issues. Sa grupo na ‘yan pipili kami ng lider, isa ako sa tinutulak ng grupo na yan. I am honored,” he said.

“We are not fighting each other, but a meeting of the minds, ang mahalaga dito magkasama tayong lahat para protektahan ang imahe ng senado, the traditions and rules of the Senate.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Joel Villanueva, who won reelection, said he is still mulling his position on the next Senate’s leadership.

Villanueva said he has been conferring on it with Zubiri and other members of the so-called “Seatmates bloc” — which include incumbent Sen. Sonny Angara, re-electionist Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, and returning Sen. JV Ejercito.

“Kung anuman ang mapag-usapan doon sa grupo na yun, I will submit to the wisdom of our group,” he said.

“In fact, I can even say that I am open to being part of the minority.” 

He added he doesn’t mind which committee he leads. He currently handles the committees on labor and higher and technical education.

Outgoing senator Franklin Drilon, meanwhile, bared that both Zubiri and Villar are talking to fellow senators for support.

"Sila ang dalawang senador na siyang nakikipag-usap sa mga senador para sila ay suportahan bilang pangulo ng Senado," he told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.

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