By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senate President Aqulino Pimentel III said that it is already impossible to share the chamber’s leadership with other senators, even with him running for the May 2019 midterm elections.
“Mukhang wala kasi lampas na ng halfway so that’s the best proof na walang term-sharing (Maybe not, since it is already past halfway of the term, so that’s the best proof that there would be no term-sharing),” Pimentel told reporters in a recent interview.
Pimentel earlier said he is willing to step down from his post as Senate chief amid his bid for reelection in the 2019 polls. But he denied reports that he will share his term with Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III.
He clarified that he will only seek Sotto’s advice when he files his certificate of candidacy in October.
“Sa kanya talaga ako kumukuha ng advice (I usually get his advice). Kahit yung sa floor, ‘pag meron (Even on matters in the Senate floor, if there is a unique or unusual scenario, parliamentary situation, I always ask the advice of Sen. Sotto on the next steps that I will do,” he explained.
Pimentel, however, said it would “depend on the majority” if they still want him as Senate President despite his candidacy.
Anyway, he said, all senators are qualified to assume leadership in the Upper Chamber.
“When you are elected by the people as a senator, you should be ready to be a Senate president especially if you are chosen by your colleagues. When the people have spoken that you are qualified to be a senator, you are qualified to be an SP,” he said.
But should he stay as Senate chief, Pimentel said he could manage both duties since the campaign period will fall during the Congress’ recess.