MANILA - Change is coming in the Senate.
This, after 15 majority bloc senators closed ranks this week and agreed to move for the change of Senate leadership from Sen. Koko Pimentel to Vicente Sotto III.
Those who have signed the manifesto as of Thursday are: Senators Loren Legarda, Nancy Binay, Sonny Angara, Joel Villanueva, Gringo Honasan, Panfilo Lacson, Miguel Zubiri, Manny Pacquiao, Cynthia Villar, Francis Escudero, Richard Gordon, Ralph Recto, and JV Ejercito.
The majority bloc has 17 members which include Sotto and Pimentel.
The manifesto states: “By majority vote of all the senators, Sen Vicente C Sotto III is hereby elected as the new Senate President to discharge the duties and powers granted to him by the Rules of the Senate.”
Honasan said there is a scheduled majority caucus on Monday, May 21 when they are expected to discuss various issues which include the Senate leadership.
Senate sources claim Pimentel requested Sotto to allow him to stay as Senate President until October 18, which the latter’s camp reportedly refused.
Pimentel was elected Senate leader in 2016 at the start of the 17th Congress. He is also president of the ruling PDP-Laban party.
Sotto, meanwhile, has campaigned against illegal drugs since he entered politics as vice mayor of Quezon City in 1998, during the height of his career as an actor and musician.
As vice mayor, Sotto founded and organized the Quezon City Anti–Drug Council, which had been replicated in many local government units, according to his profile on the Senate website.
In 1992, Sotto began his 2-decade Senate stint, during which he served as minority and majority floor leader.
He also chaired the Senate committee on illegal drugs and led the Dangerous Drug Board as chair from July 2008 to November 2009.