‘Chiz’ sees Senate prioritizing vital Palace, LEDAC bills

May 27, 2024 Camille P. Balagtas 109 views

SENATE President Francis “Chiz” Escudero has expressed confidence that members of the Senate will prioritize important measures of the Marcos administration and the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) despite the reported split in the majority coalition of the upper chamber.

In the ANC interview, Senate President Escudero clarified that he is not interested to dwell on the so-called newly formed Solid 7″ headed by former Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri who was ousted in his post in favor of Escudero.

” As far as I am concern, there is no such thing as grupo grupo or kami kami. We in the Senate are one body who must also act as one for the welfare of the Filipino people. I just want to focus on the Senate as an institution. I am not above anyone dahil pantay pantay lamang kami dito. I am just one of the 24 senators and I do not consider myself a Primus Inter Pares ( a first among equals),” Escudero was quoted as saying.

Escudero explained that there is no reason why the so-called Zubiri camp or the Solid 7 bloc would vote against measures that will help the Filipino people.

“It is the priority of the Senate to help this administration. It is our duty as elected senators to listen to the needs of the Filipinos. I will never influence anyone or stop anyone of my colleagues in the senate nor will I ever invoke what I want. My personal belief will not affect legislative process. I will neither push nor hinder in passing any bill or measure including Charter change, Divorce, ROTC etc. Let the majority in the Senate decide and vote for it,” Escudero said.

The so-called Solid 7 of Zubiri include Senators Joel Villanueva, Juan Edgardo Angara, Nancy Binay, JV Ejercito, Loren Legarda and Sherwin Gatchalian.

Escudero admitted that he was a bit surprised that Zubiri is now talking about the Solid 7, saying that in the past, they all voted for him when he was elected the Senate chief then.

“23 kaming sumuporta sa kanya sa maraming bagay para sa kapakanan ng taumbayan. We are co-equal body. The behaviour of inclusivity or exclusivity is not my style. Para sa akin dapat lahat magkakasama,” Escudero said.

It was reported that the Zubiri camp are contemplating to join the minority bloc headed by Senate Minority leader Aquilino Pimentel III and Deputy Minority Leader Sen. Risa Hontiveros.

“We always respect each and everyone. As long as we will prioritize the welfare of the people which I think is the reason why we are elected as senators,” Escudero added.

When asked if the if priority bills of President Marcos Jr. will have a chance before the end of the 2nd Regular Session of the 19th Congress, Escudero said the Senate is working seriously and really hard to prioritize the passage of these priority bills.

Escudero also said he will personally coordinate with House Speaker Martin Romualdez in order to know what needs to be prioritize in order for the Senate to include them in its legislative agenda.

“The Senate will discuss its priorities and all the important legislative bills and measures that we need to pass to help the present administration. We will also coordinate with our counterpart in the Lower House through Speaker Romualdez and we will come up with a list of priority measures of our own colleagues based on LEDAC and individual priorities which will be done through the regular process,” he said.