Senator Imee Marcos on Friday said she is not vying for Senate President or any post in the 19th Congress.
She will instead be a “super ate (big sister)” of President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in the Senate.
In an interview on DobolB TV, the lawmaker said: “Personally, I do not aspire to become a Senate president or to get a ranking position in the Senate. I just want to ensure a continuous work in the Senate because we have a lot of work to do.”
Meanwhile, Senator Risa Hontiveros on Friday disclosed that Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III will join her in the minority bloc in the Senate.
“I have spoken only once with Sen. Koko Pimentel about forming a minority together, and I’m glad that we’re both strongly inclined to do so,” Hontiveros said, adding that “I look forward to setting another discussion with him.
Marcos, in the interview, further said: “It is not a secret that President Duterte had a problem with the legislative side, in the Senate. So, I hope this time, it would be smooth sailing.”
“I hope the approved measures will not be vetoed, there will be no quarrels and the issues in the Blue Ribbon Committee can be discussed. I hope that there will be lesser disagreements between the two branches of government.”
Senator Sonny Angara earlier disclosed that Imee and Senator-elect Loren Legarda have expressed interest in the position of Senate president pro tempore, the second-highest position in the Upper Chamber.
Reports said Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senator Cynthia Villar, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, and Senator-elect Francis Escudero are vying for the Senate’s top post.
According to Hontiveros, who won a second term in the elections, said there will still be several talks before they will be able to finalize a minority.
She said the public should expect an authentic and responsible minority.
“And rightly so, as a true minority, the Senate will play an essential role in maintaining the independence of the institution and in safeguarding our contested democracy,” she assured.
“I personally would like to carry on as a responsible oppositionist and a fiscalizer within the minority as I have done so in the past six years, while also ensuring that I can make common cause with our colleagues in the majority so I can remain productive legislatively.”
Outgoing Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon rejected 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 by Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri that his group is looking at forming a “super majority bloc” in the Upper chamber to be composed of his group and that of Senator Cynthia Villar who is reportedly eyeing to lead the upper chamber like Zubiri.
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.
“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,” he said.
Such tradition in the Senate, he further said, 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 closure” 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.