MANILA (UPDATE) — Four senators on Monday refused to join the chamber's majority bloc, opting to be part of the minority or "independent" blocs to serve as fiscalizers of the administration.
Senators Risa Hontiveros, Koko Pimentel, Alan Peter Cayetano, and Pia Cayetano abstained from voting for Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri as Senate President, technically making them members of the minority bloc in accordance to prevailing rules.
However, the Cayetano siblings said they would not be part of the minority bloc either and instead would be "independent."
The Cayetanos earlier floated the idea of creating a third bloc in the Senate, similar to the "independent minority bloc" in the House of Representatives.
Meanwhile, in a manifestation, Hontiveros nominated Pimentel as minority leader.
"I'm sure he'll make an excellent minority leader... I am certain Sen. Pimentel will help maintain the independence of the Senate," she said.