NP to stay with ruling coalition — Drilon

May 23, 2013 10:35 pm 

MANILA, May 23 — The Nacionalista Party of outgoing Senator Manny Villar will stay with the Team PNoy coalition that brought nine of its 12 candidates in the Senate in the last May 13 mid-term elections, according to administration Senator Franklin Drilon.

”Today, I met with Sen. Manny Villar, the president of the Nacionalista Party and the NP will stay with the coalition contrary to all these speculations,” Drilon said in a weekly Kapihan sa Senado on Thursday.

Drilon claimed Villar assured him that NP will continue to support President Benigno Aquino III and his legislative agenda in the Senate.

”We agreed that there will be a common candidate of the coalition in the Senate and we will discuss the different committees that the members of the NP will like to hold in the Senate. More than 13 senators will choose a common candidate,” Drilon said.

Drilon is reportedly being groomed as the administration’s common candidate for Senate presidency in the 16th Congress which will open in July 29.

The Iloilo lawmaker, however, refused to confirm if he will be the ruling coalition’s nominee for the top post in the Senate.

”I am not authorized to talk about it beyond what we have agreed. We discussed the committees, we discussed the commitment of the NP to support the President, the administration and the legislative agenda of the President,” he said.

With the assurance that NP will stay with the coalition, Drilon said the administration and its coalition will have the majority block.

The NP has five senators in the next Congress following the election of Villar’s wife, Cynthia Villar and reelection of Alan Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV. The incumbent NP senators are Pia Cayetano and Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr.

Other Team PNoy bets who won in the senatorial race include Liberal Party’s Bam Aquino and Grace Poe; Laban ng Demokrating Pilipino’s Edgardo ‘Sonny’ Angara; independent Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero; Nationalist People’s Coalition’s Loren Legarda and guest candidate Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel III.

Aside from Drilon, the incumbent LP senators are Teofisto Guingona III, Ralph Recto and Serge Osmena III.

It takes a majority of 13 senators to elect a new Senate president. (PNA)



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