By Mario Casayuran
Boxing icon Senator Emmanuel D. Pacquiao submitted Monday a resolution expressing support for the continued stay of Senator Vicente C. Sotto III as the Senate President in the incoming 18th Congress.
Sotto quickly thanked his 13 colleagues for their expression of support of his presidency in Monday’s second to the last plenary session before the Senate adjourns sine die tonight.
This will end the 17th Congress.
The resolution was spearheaded by Pacquaio and Senator Panfilo M. Lacson.
The 13 were led by Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph G. Recto and Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri.
The others are Francis Escudero, Loren Legarda, Gregorio B. Honasan II, Juan Edgardo M. Angara, Lacson, Grace Poe, Sherwin T. Gatchalian, Pacquaio, Aquilino ‘’Koko’’ Pimentel III, Nancy Binay and Joel Villanueva.
The signatories that count, however, are 10 because they will be part of the 24 senators in the 18th Congress.
The three whose terms at the Senate ends on June 30 are Escudero, Legarda and Honasan.
The other 10 senators who signed the resolution will become members in the 18th Congress.
Pacquiao said the resolution signed by the majority was to meant to avoid confusion when several senators-elect and reelectionists elect the Senate officials in the 18th on July 22, hours before the Senate and the House of Representatives, in joint session, hear the President of the Republic deliver his State of the Nation Address (SONA).
Pacquiao said he has not heard reports that reelectionist Senator Cynthia A. Villar has plans of seeking the Senate presidency.
He said those who signed the resolution was not a loyalty check but only a show of their commitment to Sotto’s leadership.
Pacquaio said resolution is part of a plan to make certain that the distribution of committee chairmanships shall be smooth.
In the distribution of committee chairmanships, new and current senators would express their preferences.
While others preferred chairmanships may be a tough fight, some may be easy as some would give way as the basis for chairmanship is grounded on their competencies.
The majority bloc may keep ‘’juicy’’ committees and threw the leavings to the minority group.
Pimentel, current Partido Demokratikong Pilipino (PDP) and a former Senate President, is one of the PDP senators.
Pacquiao was the PDP-Laban campaign manager in the last May 30 mid-term elections.
The others are Senators-elect Roland dela Rosa, Christopher Lawrence ‘’Bong’’ Go and Francis Tolentino.
Lacson earlier said the Pacquiao would be hosting a meeting of majority bloc members tomorrow.
Pacquiao was also reported set to ask his fellow PDP-Laban senators to sign the Sotto resolution.
The current Senate majority bloc headed by Sotto and the PDP-Laban senators support the Duterte administration.