May 21, 2024 Camille P. Balagtas 66 views

THUS stressed new Senate Majority Leader Francis Tolentino as he assured that the Senate will continue to be independent contrary to speculations that Malacañang is behind the Senate change of leadership.

In a press conference yesterday, Tolentino vehemently denied that Malacañang is behind the move in changing the senate leadership from former Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri to the new leadership of Senate President Francis Chiz.

“At the end of the day it is an individual decision. All decisions were really made individually and we signed the paper individually. No such thing as collective signatures. And I think as a co-equal body, we should be cordial with Malacañang. As a matter of fact, kahit sa Supreme Court kanina nandito sila we are cordial as co-equal body. Kasi dapat magkatulungan lahat,” Tolentino said as he confirmed that even Senator Christopher Bong Go and Senator Ronaldo Bato dela Rosa signed the manifesto of support in favor of Senator Escudero.

“Kahit si Senator Bong Go and Senator Ronald Bato, nakapirma din,” Tolentino confirmed insisting on the need for a reconciliatory among each of them in order to start anew.

Tolentino said he understands the feeling of Zubiri when he aired his feeling about some of his colleagues but maintained that as a collegial body, at the end of the day, it is still important for all of them to help and support each other for the good of the Filipino people.

“Let us all move forward, marami tayong naka pending na mga bills na dapat gawin at tapusin. Gaya ng Livestock, Tarrifications, Procurement law, yung ibang nasa period of amendments pa and even the Shariah Law na inaabangan ng mga kapatid natin na Muslim. There are so many pending works that needs our attention,” Tolentino said.

Tolentino confirmed that a rigodon in the Senate committee chairmanship is also expected to follow.

“Some of the committee chairs already signify to resign in their chairmanship but the vice chair will take over so tuloy pa rin ang mga hearings na gagawin. Like for example si Senator Jinggoy Estrada who is now the Senate President Pro Tempore, magbabawas siya dahil kanya rin ang Committee on Labor. And for the Commission on Appointments, ino-nominate namin si Senator Migz Zubiri to represent us in the Commission on Appointments,” Tolentino said as he expressed gratitude for Zubiri and Senator Joel Villanueva.

“It’s a job well done for Sen. Zubiri and napakasipag din ni Senator Joel Villanueva kaya marami tayong mga natapos sa ilalim ng pamumuno nila,” Tolentino said.

Tolentino revealed although SP Escudero has the green light to choose those who will assist him, he opted not to change many positions like the secretarial staff which was chosen by Zubiri during his term.

“Pati secretarial staff walang palitan. Very accommodating si SP Escudero which shows his magnanimity and appreciation. Kahit may free hand siya to choose, he opted not to change them,” Tolentino said.

Meanwhile, major committees such as Finance and Accounts were deemed vacant as well with the resignation of Senators Juan Edgardo Sonny Angara and Sen. Lourdes Nancy Binay.

In his first informal press conference, Escudero asked everyone to join him hand in hand so that all of them can serve the Filipino people whom they have to serve.