Zubiri says to finalize Senate committee chairmanships next week

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 29 2022 06:05 PM

Migz Senate PRIB
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel “Migz” F. Zubiri attends a Commission on Appointments (CA) deliberation on the matter Monday, May 30, 2022. Bibo Nueva España, Senate PRIB

MANILA — Incoming Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said he would finalize the issue of committee chairmanships by next week.

The first “super majority bloc” meeting will happen on July 3, and the second one on July 5, the lawmaker told ABS-CBN News.

Zubiri said the discussion would include returning senator Alan Peter Cayetano’s condition of getting the Senate blue ribbon committee chairmanship for him to join the super majority. 

Sen. Francis Tolentino has already accepted the Blue Ribbon panel chairmanship, according to Zubiri.

“And 'yan din ang gusto ng majority ng members of the super majority. Kaya, magmi-meeting pa kami,” Zubiri said. “I have to talk to Senator Tol and his group, the admin group and the majority bloc... But I can’t make the decision myself."

(That's what majority of the members of the super majority want, too. That is why we will meet.) 

"I cannot just allot a committee, take away a committee and give it to another member. Medyo diktador na ang dating ko nyan at hindi po ako diktador (that will be dictatorial of me and I am not a dictator). I will have to consult and I have to get a consensus,” he added.

There are 5 remaining committee chairmanships in the Senate, which will be offered to Cayetano and his sister Sen. Pia Cayetano for them to consider joining the administration bloc, said Zubiri. 

“We still have a few committees to go… I’m going to meet with both Senator Pia and Senator Alan, with the remaining committees left. Hopefully , makakasama pa rin sila sa (they can still join the) super majority. That’s the most ideal,” Zubiri said.

The incoming Senate leader still sees a “big chance” of the Cayetanos joining the super majority bloc.

“Hindi naman 'yan (Alan Peter) mag-oppose for the sake of opposing. He’s also pragmatic, practical public servant,” Zubiri said.

(He will not oppose for the sake of opposing.)

Zubiri also assured his Senate colleagues that everyone would always be welcome to speak up on issues, and democracy will be observed on the floor.

"We have to remember that we have to protect the integrity of the Senate and the independence of the Senate, so wala tayong problema d'yan (we have no problem with that),” Zubiri said.

“Issue-based naman tayo e. So, kung may issue sa tingin n'ya kailangan n'yang magsalita, they’re most welcome to do so. Importante, hindi lang maging obstructionist. Because yung obstructionist nyan ay, if you obstruct the passage of the budget, passage of a required legislation, 'yan, ibang usapan na 'yan,” he added.

(We are issue-based. So if anyone wants to speak up on any issue, they're most welcome to do so. Just don't be obstructionist. If you are an obstructionist, if you obstruct the passage of the budget, passage of a required legislation, then that's a different matter.)

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