With the “changing of the guard” in the 17th Congress, four returning senators and four new face will be joining the 24-man Senate. It also means saying goodbye to six “graduating” senators and two others who failed in their reelection bid.
The graduating senators whose term ends on June 30, 2016 are Senate acting Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, Miriam Defensor Santiago, Pia Cayetano, Manuel “Lito” Lapid, Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Ramon “Bong” Revilla. Those who failed in their reelection bids are Senators Serge Osmeña and Teofisto Guingona.
The new faces in the 17th Congress are Senators-elect Joel Villanueva, Rissa Hontiveros, Manny Pacquiao and Leila de Lima.The returning senators are Panfilo Lacson, Richard Gordon, Francis Pangilinan and Jose Miguel Zubiri.
Except for Cayetano who will sit as representative of the lone district of Taguig City, the other senators, who are about to leave will lead a private life.
Cayetano will succeed her younger brother Lino in Congress after defeating by more than 50,000 votes her lone opponent, City Councilor Michelle Anne Gonzales.
Lapid tried his luck in his home province in Pampanga, but failed to defeat reelectionist Edgardo Pamintuan in the mayoralty race in Angeles City.
The former actor lost to Pamintuan by more than 30,000 votes. Lapid only got 33.8 percent of the votes, compared to Pamintuan’s 56.6 percent.
The 92-year-old Enrile, who spent more than four decades in public service, will just rest in his home at the Dasmariñas Village when his term ends on June 30.
While he’s having problems walking because of a bad balance, Enrile said he might go fishing in his hometown in Cagayan. He also uses hearing aids.
To address his weak eyesight, he also uses a magnifying lens when reading.
Santiago, on the otherhand, said he would spend her private life fighting the Big C. In fact, she would no longer report for work in the Senate since she sought for an extension of her medical leave until her term of office expires on June 30. In asking the Senate’s permission, Santiago, who was earlier diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, noted that she is now “physically and mentally weak.”
Santiago, who ran for president in May 9 elections under his own political party, People’s Party (PRP), said one of her medications had produced a side effect of anorexia or the inability to eat.
Because of the anorexia, Santiago said she has been rendered physically and and mentally weak.