No sleep nor rest until job is done, Villanueva assures public

Senator Joel Villanueva said Monday, July 25, that he was ready to learn and listen as he takes the role of the Senate Majority Floor Leader.

Villanueva, who received the support of 22 of his peers, vowed not to sleep nor rest until "we finish our job" in terms of joining the other leaderships of the 19th Congress.

While he considers himself a rookie in the role, the lawmaker said, he was "not a tabula rasa or a blank slate."

"We have been with the Rules Committee for a very long time. When I was the 'Benjamin of the House' during the 12th Congress, I was elected Assistant Majority Leader along with Senator Alan Cayetano as Deputy Majority Leader and Senator Chiz Escudero as Senior Deputy Majority Leader," he said.

In fact, he added, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, who was the majority floor leader in the 18th Congress, "has raised the bar for this office" he now holds.

So, "keeping up will be a constant challenge, but we are ready to learn and to listen," he added.

Among the 24 senators, only Robin Padilla abstained from voting Villanueva for the role. But he did not give any explanation.

"I know that more than a rank, title, or position, I am now receiving a great responsibility. This responsibility is about taking care of this beloved institution, the People’s Senate," Villanueva gave assurance.