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President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s neutral stance on the Senate leadership issue would likely propel undecided senators to finally support Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III as the next Senate President.
“I believe that statement settles the issue. It would be an eye opener to those who haven’t joined the majority,” Sen. Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said during a press forum in Manila yesterday.
“Now is the best time (to decide) or it might be too late unless they really want to be in the majority,” Sotto added.
In a business conference in Davao City, Duterte made it clear he is distancing himself from the issue on Senate presidency as both contenders for the position – Pimentel and Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano – are his friends.
“Both of them are my friends and neutral ako. Sabi ko (I told them), ‘fight it out’,” Duterte said, eliciting laughter participants during the forum which was attended by businessmen and policy makers at the SMX Convention Center.
Cayetano was Duterte’s running mate during the recent May 2016 elections; Pimentel is Duterte’s party-mate at the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban).
Sotto noted that majority of the senators are supportive of Duterte’s goals for the country. (Hannah L. Torregoza)