Change in Senate lead from Koko to Tito inevitable

A change in leadership in the Senate is inevitable after 14 senators signed a draft resolution seeking to replace Senate Pesident Aquilino Pimentel III with Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, Senator JV Ejercito said Friday.

Although Pimentel is expected to file his certificate of candidacy in October for another run at the Senate in 2019, Ejercito said the change could come sooner. “It is up to them to talk [about]… a smooth transition,” Ejercito said, referring to Pimentel and Sotto.

posted May 19, 2018 at 01:05 am by Macon Ramos-Araneta

‘Change in Senate lead from Koko to Tito inevitable’

A change in leadership in the Senate is inevitable after 14 senators signed a draft resolution seeking to replace Senate Pesident Aquilino Pimentel III with Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, Senator JV Ejercito said Friday. Although Pimentel is expected to file his certificate of candidacy in October for another run at the Senate in 2019, Ejercito said the change could come sooner.

While Ejercito said Pimentel showed “unquestioned integrity,” the senators had hoped he would be more protective of the Senate, particularly when it came under attack by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, a party-mate of Pimentel, who is president of the ruling PDP-Laban.

Sotto said Friday, he would protect the Senate from attacks and unfair criticism if he is chosen as the next Senate president.

“I will not allow it to be degraded, trampled, attacked, or unfairly criticized without responding fairly or violently if necessary,” he said.

In January, Alvarez said the House could convene itself as a constituent assembly even without the Senate if the senators refused to vote jointly on constitutional amendments.

While Pimentel was silent, his father, former Senate president Aquilino Pimentel Jr., took Alvarez to task and told him to reread the Contitution.

Ejercito on Friday also said there was no “third force” composed of re-electionist senators who are not with the majority party moving to oust Pimentel.

He noted that Pimentel had committed to fight for the incumbent senators to be included in the administration lineup for next year’s election.

Ejericito said he hoped for a smooth transition.

Pimentel earlier told reporters in jest that he wanted to retain his post, but said he needs to prepare for his re-election.

Ejercito said there were no major complaints about Pimentel and said he was “good” to the senators.

But he said perhaps his lack of experience in managing a political organization such as the Senate kept him from defending the institution as he should.

This he added, was the advantage of Sotto, serving two terms beginning in 1992 to 2004 and his third and fourth term, from 2010 to the present.

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