Cayetano may accept Senate foreign relations committee if...

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 26 2016 05:37 PM

After failing to show up on the first session day of the Senate at the start of the 17th Congress, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano hinted Tuesday that he can take on a committee chairmanship if offered by Senate President Koko Pimentel. 

Cayetano said he was not present when the session opened yesterday and senators elected Sen. Koko Pimentel as Senate President because he did not want to ruin the moment. 

"Eh kung dumating ako at nanalo pa ako eh di nasira pa moment nila," he said. 

He, however, said there was "no rancor" after Pimentel was elected Senate President. 

Cayetano said he still has to decide whether he will join the Senate majority, which vowed to support the President's legislative agenda. He, however, said he can also be an "independent" senator. 

He also hinted that he can take on a committee chairmanship if offered by Pimentel. 

"Kung foreign affairs na committee, baka pwede. Pero kung affairs na foreign, hindi," said Cayetano.

A total of 20 senators voted for Pimentel as Senate President on Monday, with three voting for Sen. Ralph Recto. 

Koko Pimentel, bagong pangulo ng Senado

Cayetano, running mate of President Rodrigo Duterte, was earlier touted as a possible contender for the position of Senate President before majority of senators backed Pimentel for the position. 

'Senate presidency a toss-up between Alan, Koko'

Senator Tito Sotto has said Cayetano made certain demands on committee chairmanships. He said Cayetano did not want Senator Panfilo Lacson to be the head of the public order committee, Senator Loren Legarda to be the head of the finance committee, and Senator Manny Pacquiao as chairman of the committee on games and amusements.

Sotto: Cayetano had demands on Senate committee chairmanships

Cayetano also rejected Senator Leila De Lima, a former Justice secretary and a vocal critic of President Duterte, as the new head of the Senate justice committee. 

REGRETS

In the interview, Cayetano admitted he was disappointed that he was not chosen to lead the Senate. 

"Meron bang panghinayanag? Yun nga in-express ko sa Facebook," he said. 

In a Facebook post titled "Losing What Was Never Mine Keeping What's Important to Me", Cayetano, running-mate of President Rodrigo Duterte in the May polls, said he turned down the offers of two groups because he wanted to protect the President. 

"[Two] groups offered me a deal. Taking just 1 of the two offers would have made me Senate President. Yet somehow I was never tempted to take the deal...," he said in the Facebook post. 

Cayetano said he made a commitment during the May 7 miting de avance to help and protect the President who would initiate "revolutionary change in our country." 

"I thought long and hard about it and I asked myself, how could a deal that made me [Senate President] but put the President and his agenda in jeopardy, be one that helps or protects him?" he wrote. 

"I asked myself this question since I promised myself I will only get it if I can help and protect the President and his agenda, otherwise I'll be inutil, powerful yet powerless," he added. 

Cayetano: 2 groups offered deal for Senate presidency