Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III said Thursday he had no plan of wrestling the presidency of the upper chamber, should he successfully emerge victorious in the midterm elections.
Pimentel, president of the ruling Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino preceeded Sotto. He was Senate President from June 2016 until May 2018.
But he is no longer eyeing the same position in the incoming 18th Congress in July.
Pimentel is being ranked either on the 10th and 11th spot based on the partial results of the counting being done by the Comelec and the National Board of Canvassers.
In the House of Representatives, despite facing a plunder complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman, former-House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez was reelected as Davao del Norte’s District 1 representative.
He quickly said he would still aim to get back the Speakership in the 18th Congress, which he lost to Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo.
He said he would be challenging formidable candidates for the Speakership, such as Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, Leyte Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez, Taguig-Pateros City Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano and Antique Rep. Loren Legarda.
Before the start of President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address in July last year, majority of the House of Representative members booted out Alvarez as Speaker.
Senator Cynthia Villar, who has remained the frontrunner in the senatorial race since the start of the counting, has repeatedly said she is not interested in the Senate presidency.
She candidly told several interviews that she would rather remain to be the chairperson of the Senate committee on agriculture and food so she could continue helping farmers and fishermen who belng to the country’s poorest sector.
The senator is committed to provide more jobs and livelihood programs to more poor Filipinos to improve their lives and help sour economic growth. She can focus more on her advocacies as head of this committee.
Senator Panfilo Lacson said since Villar had spoken that she was not interested, there was nobody else gunning for the post.
He also dismissed any ouster plot against the leadership of Sotto, saying there was no reason to replace him.
“Definitely stable because we have no reason to change him as our leader,” he said.
Lacson said Sotto had shown very good leadership qualities. He also said Sotto could stand up for what the Senate should represent and more.
“Looking at the new composition of the chamber in the 18th Congress, even if for some reason he offers to step down, I am quite sure, most if not all of us in the new majority will persuade him to stay,” also said Lacson.