THE many demands and “do’s and don’ts” being dictated by Senator Alan Peter Cayetano led to his failure to get his colleagues to choose him as Senate president of the 17th Congress, Senator Vicente Sotto III said Wednesday.
He said the talks with Cayetano, the defeated running mate of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, collapsed because he had been imposing many conditions and dictating many things—and in particular the chairmanship of the Senate committees.
As a result, they opted to pick Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, a party mate of Duterte at the PDP-Laban, to be the next Senate president to succeed Franklin Drilon.
Sotto and Drilon have stood firm that Pimentel will be the next Senate president amid the reports Cayetano has been “operating” to grab the Senate leadership from Pimentel. They stress that the Senate presidency has been sealed for Pimentel.
Pimentel has said if Cayetano wants the Senate presidency, he should not go to Davao because the position is not determined in Davao. He should talk to his fellow senators instead.
“Nobody else can elect the SP except the senators,” said Pimentel, the president of PDP-Laban where Duterte is chairman.
Asked if he believed Duterte would call the senators to convince them to vote for Cayetano, Sotto replied: “I don’t know if the President will do that and if that will work, because if you want to be SP you have to campaign among your fellow senators.”
Duterte had earlier declared he would not meddle in the fight for the Senate leadership. He asked Pimentel and Cayetano to settle the issue between themselves.