Senate presidency a toss-up between Escudero and Zubiri–Sotto

Published May 21, 2022, 3:48 PM

by Mario Casayuran

Senate President Vicente Sotto III sees the fight for the Senate presidency as a toss-up between reelected Senator Juan Miguel ‘’Migz’’ Zubiri and his returning colleague Senator Francis ‘’Chiz’’ Escudero.

Asked what are the qualities that a contender for the Senate presidency should possess, Sotto told a radio interview Saturday, May 21 that Zubiri and Escudero have the same qualities.

‘’As a matter of fact merong ding qualities na ganun din si APC at Koko Pimentel (As a matter of fact, [former House Speaker] Alan Peter Cayetano and [former Senate President] Koko Pimentel also have the same qualities),’ he pointed out.

Sotto, who has four six-year terms as a senator under his belt, said the race for the Senate presidency begins on July 1.

The 19th Congress officially begins on July 25.

Ideally, according to Sotto, an aspirant should have 13 votes or more to bag the presidency in the 24-member Senate.

Aside from the Senate presidency, the majority bloc, other positions and committee chairmanships would also be up for grabs starting July 1, Sotto said.

Zubiri, an independent, ran under the UniTeam of presumptive president Ferdinand ‘’Bongbong’’ Marcos Jr. and presumptive vice president Sara Duterte-Carpio.

Escudero, on the other hand, is a member of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC). Sotto is the NPC chairman.

Pimentel is expected to head the Senate Minority bloc. With him will be reelected Senator Risa Hontiveros.

Sotto said the NPC would soon hold a felllowship with six members and leaders to decide what would be their position on party issues.

He earlier threw NPC’s ‘’unconditional support” for Leyte 1st district Rep. Martin Romualdez’s bid for the House Speakership.