Zubiri 'cool' on Cayetanos’ independent Senate bloc

Presumptive Senate President Miguel Zubiri said on Sunday, July 24, that an “independent bloc” of the Senate may form in the 19th Congress, after he had a “good” meeting with sibling Senators Alan and Pia Cayetano to discuss the possibility of the two forming a third bloc.

Incoming Senate President Migz Zubiri (FILE PHOTO/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Zubiri, during a DZBB interview, announced that he had met with the two Cayetanos on the eve of July 23 in which the sibling lawmakers discussed their plan to form an independent bloc within the Senate.

READ: Cayetano siblings open to forming ‘third bloc’ in the Senate

“May posibilidad din po na magkakaroon kami ng (it’s possible that we will have an) independent bloc in the Senate...Nag-meeting po kami ni (I met with) Senators Pia and Alan Cayetano and ang ganda ng meeting namin (we had a good meeting). Ang pinag-usapan natin ay baka manatili po sila bilang (We discussed the possibility of them becoming) independent members of the Senate,” Zubiri said.

“They will neither vote for me or Senator Koko , they will abstain from voting,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Pimentel is expected to take the reins as Minority Leader; he and Sen. Risa Hontiveros are expected to be the two minority Senators.

READ: Pimentel, Hontiveros confirm they are now ‘forming’ Senate minority bloc

While the Senate and the House of Representatives are both traditionally composed of a majority and minority bloc, Zubiri said that independent Senate blocs have been formed in the past.

“This is not lacking (in) precedence. Nangyari na po ito (This already happened) with Senator Sergio Osmena, many of the senators of the past that have decided to remain independent...They will be treated as a separate bloc,” Zubiri explained.

This is expected to take place as the Senate and the House of Representatives convene to open the 19th Congress on Monday, July 25. On the same day, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. will deliver his maiden State of the Nation Address (SONA).

READ: Senate opens 19th Congress on Monday