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Zubiri next Senate chief

Sen. Juan Miguel ‘Migz’ Zubiri PHOTO BY RENE H. DILAN

Sen. Juan Miguel ‘Migz’ Zubiri PHOTO BY RENE H. DILAN

SEN. Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri will take the post to be vacated by Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto 3rd on June 30.

Zubiri had no competition for the Senate presidency after Sen. Cynthia Villar backed out of the race for the top post in the chamber.

Villar on Wednesday said she is “no longer interested” in the position.

The Senate adjourns sine die on June 3.

Villar said she opted to have Zubiri form a “supermajority” bloc. The senator added that she is not interested in a term-sharing agreement with Zubiri.

“I want a simple life,” she told reporters.

Villar vowed to continue with her advocacies which are agriculture and environment.

The new set of Senate leaders for the 19th Congress was finalized on Wednesday.

Zubiri revealed that returning senator Lorna Regina “Loren” Legarda will be the Senate president pro tempore while reelected Sen. Emmanuel Joel Villanueva will be the majority leader.

The minority bloc is expected to be led by Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel 3rd with reelected Sen. Ana Theresia “Risa” Hontiveros as member.

The chairmanships of major committees have already been assigned to the members of the “supermajority bloc.” The chairmanships of 26 out of 40 Senate committees have been filled up: Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara was given the Finance panel; Sen. Maria Lourdes Nancy Binay, Tourism and Accounts; Senator-elect Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, Local Government, Higher Education; Senator-elect Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Justice; Senator-elect Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, Labor; Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, Basic Education, Ways and Means; Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, Health, Sports; Sen. Manuel “Lito” Lapid, Games; Sen. Maria Josefa Imelda “Imee” Marcos, Foreign Relations; Senator-elect Robin Padilla, Constitutional Amendments, Social Justice; Sen. Mary Grace Poe, Public Services, Banks; Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., Public Works; Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, Defense; Sen. Francis Tolentino, Blue Ribbon; Senator-elect Rafael “Raffy” Tulfo, Energy, Overseas Filipino Workers (new committee); and Senator Villar, Agriculture, Environment.

Hontiveros will retain the chairmanship of the Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality.

Zubiri said that he had always wanted to form a supermajority, adding that “a united Senate is a productive one.”

“I would like to thank Ma’am Cynthia Villar from the bottom of my heart for her support, graciousness, and magnanimity in helping me form a supermajority,” he said. “I also thank all my colleagues who believe in me and put their trust and confidence in my ability to lead the Senate in the 19th Congress.”

“Rest assured that all of my experience as majority leader in the 14th, 17th and 18th Congresses will help me greatly in managing the affairs of the Senate. And having been a legislator for as long as I have, I understand deeply the independence, integrity, and dignity of the Senate, and I will always uphold these, as well as the rules and traditions of this hallowed institution,” Zubiri said.

Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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