Drilon dismisses impact of 'super majority' in Senate

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 24 2022 07:41 PM | Updated as of May 25 2022 12:53 AM

MANILA - Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon dismissed on Tuesday the impact of having a so-called "super majority bloc" in the Senate, as against the presence of possibly one or two opposition members in the chamber.

Drilon was reacting to the statement made Monday by Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri that his group is looking at forming a "super majority bloc" in the chamber to be composed of his group and that of Senator Cynthia Villar who is reportedly eyeing to lead the upper chamber like Zubiri.

Interviewed at the sidelines of the canvassing of presidential and vice presidential candidates’ votes, Drilon said those who would compose the so-called minority bloc are those who will support the bid of the Senate President post aspirant who will lose later on.

"I do not know what a super majority is. They will have an overwhelming majority? Like how many? Like 16, 17 or whatever. In my view, because of the tradition in the Senate, a single opposition senator can do the job of fiscalizing. And under the Rules of the Senate, you cannot close the period of debates. You should allow anyone who has anything to say, to take the floor and you cannot interrupt," Drilon said.

With that tradition he said, a “single senator can block the passage of any law,” the Senate minority leader said.

Such tradition in the Senate also gives much power even to a lone opposition figure in the chamber if ever that the next Congress will only have one or two opposition figure, the senator said.

The "tyranny of numbers" meantime is “more theoretical in the Senate”, Drilon said.

This is because of the “rule on no cloture” in the Senate.

In the said rule, no senator can move to put a bill into a vote for as long as another colleague is on the floor or raising a question.