Palace won’t meddle in Senate affairs
By Paolo Romero and Christina Mendez
The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang announced yesterday that the administration will not meddle in the affairs of the Senate and it is up to the senators to decide if they would elect a new Senate president.
Deputy presidential spokesman and Press Undersecretary Rogelio Peyuan referred to the proposal of re-electionist Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago to elect a new Senate president as a guaranty in the event no president would be proclaimed due to a failure of elections on May 10.
“It’s up to them (senators) to do what they think needs to be done to put in safeguards and security measures,” Peyuan told a news briefing. “This is a matter for them to decide.”
He said President Arroyo has not yet received a formal request from the Senate to call for a special session to allow the senators to elect a new president.
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile whose term will expire in June, challenged other senators to bring in the numbers if they want him to be replaced.
Enrile made the challenge following persistent reports that some senators want to replace the Senate leadership as a contingency in case of a failure of elections.
“How? How can they do that? I’m ready to step down if they have the number anytime but how can they do that. If they can ask the President to call a special session between now and Friday, oh? We cannot have sessions on Saturdays and Sundays,” Enrile said.
Among the senators, Senators Santiago, Edgardo Angara, Francis Escudero, and Alan Peter Cayetano have been vocal over the need to replace Enrile with a senator whose term ends in 2013.