PNS — IT’s final.
Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan is the Liberal Party’s candidate for the Senate presidency.
In a press conference at Balai in Cubao, Quezon City yesterday, LP president Mar Roxas said that party officers and members chose Pangilinan over Franklin Drilon for the top Senate seat.
However, it took several meetings, according to Roxas, before the team came up with a decision to tap Pangilinan.
Pangilinan said that his chances for the top Senate seat are not remote saying he already have at least 10 votes.
The winning number to become a Senate president is 13. “Ako na ang bahala dun sa tatlo,” he added.
Pangilinan said he will be up against losing Presidential candidate Manny Villar and incumbent Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile.
On the part of Drilon, choosing Pangilinan over him is not an issue saying what is important here is for the party members to be united which is key in pushing President Aquino’s programs for country.
“The LP only has four members in the Senate. We will have to seek alliances, but we cannot start this unless we first agree within our party,” he said.
“There was a fundamental agreement between Senator Pangilinan and Senator Franklin Drilon that whoever among them was chosen by the party, none of them will desert us. Walang iwanan,” Roxas said.
He also noted that Liberal Senators Teofisto “TG” Guingona III and Ralph G. Recto were part of the consensus-building process, and agreed to this principle. Furthermore, Roxas said that President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III participated in the process, but he said Aquino will respect the independence of the Senate and its process in choosing its leadership.
Pangilinan thanked the party for trusting in his capabilities, and “we will not let the Party and the President down.”
He said he is looking forward to leading an “activist Senate” that will be proactive and creative in finding solutions for the country’s problems. “This is in keeping with the overall agenda of President Aquino who wants to see change happen in the next six years of his administration.”
He also thanked Drilon—whom he says is “as deserving as, if not even more deserving than, I am,”— for graciously agreeing to his candidacy as Senate President.