The Philippine Senate should have 24 Members, but because incumbent Alfredo Lim has run and won as Mayor of Manila and will be relinquishing his seat in the Upper House, the 14th Congress will have a Senate with only 23 of its Offices occupied by a duly elected incumbent.
What this boils down to is that 12-11 is the closest vote that can decide who the Senate President is and who are the respective members of the Majority and Minority. It is as simple as that. Whoever gets 12 votes get to be the Majority. Whoever gets 11 will be the Minority.
But as of this posting we already know the identities of exactly 22 of the 23 Senators of the 14th Congress.
The 23rd Senator will be either Migz Zubiri (Team Unity) or Koko Pimentel (Genuine Opposition). Now the Comelec has just announced that it will await the Supreme Court's ruling on the petition of the latter for Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against the Comelec's canvassing of the fraud-besotted Maguindanao election results.
Thus at this point in time, nothing is cast in stone. But it is unavoidable that it will be Migz or Koko who will cast the twelfth and deciding vote for who the next Senate President will be, and who the Majority that the losing candidate would then have to face in any prospective Set Electoral Tribunal!
The fight has now shifted to the Supreme Court, where Koko Pimentel will question the Comelec's actions between June 25 and June 29 as denying him due process by not recognizing questions and objections of his election lawyers during the Maguindanao special canvas. Koko promises to allow his lawyers to do the talking before the High Court. (Good decision.)
PIA HONTIVEROS had on JUAN PONCE ENRILE on Strictly Politics (ANC) Tuesday night to talk about the battle for the Senate Presidency, said to be a close fight between Manny Villar and Nene Pimentel. What is amazing about this matchup is that both are technically in the "Opposition" considering that Manny Villar ran for re-election and won on the Genuine Opposition ticket in the recent midterm elections, whilst Nene Pimentel has been the Senate Minority Leader. Manny Villar was also the Senate President in the last Congress, albeit briefly, after Frank Drilon stepped down. As a member of the Wednesday Group, he, Joker Arroyo and Kiko Pangilinan survived the May elections, with only Ralph Recto losing his re-election bid among their number. JPE's very interesting revelation was that Joseph Estrada is backing Manny Villar for Senate President. Which begs the question: why is Nene Pimentel vying against Manny Villar for the Senate Presidency?
Juan Ponce Enrile has the most coherent view of the dynamics in the Senate that has led to the odd situation where the Opposition won big in the midterm elections but probably won’t decide who the Senate President will be. He says there are three groups, the Admin bloc of about 8 senators (9 with Zubiri), then the Villar bloc (6) and the Pimentel Group(8 or 9 depending on Koko Pimentel). But JPE blames Nene Pimentel for splitting the Opposition by challenging Manny Villar for the Presidency of the Senate, when Manny clearly ran under Erap’s Genuine Opposition and as Senate President before the elections, its presumptive standard bearer in the Senate. This bears some serious consideration on the part of Nene himself: that it is his challenging of Manny Villar for the Senate Presidency that will lock out the most lethal of the new Senators from a chance at the best committees, like blue ribbon.The only reason the small admin bloc of JPE and Angara (about eight senators) became swing votes is that the Opposition has been split by Nene and Mar Roxas! Here is the Old Fox himself talking to Pia Hontiveros:
Juan Ponce Enrile explains the "group dynamics" in the Senate in the battle for its Presidency.