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Drilon elected Senate president of 16th Congress

Senator Franklin Drilon is elected Senate President at the opening of the 26th Congress, 22 July 2013. JAMIN VERDE/
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines - Getting 17 votes, Senator Franklin Drilon was elected Senate president at the opening of the 16th Congress Monday. Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, who received six votes, was elected Senate minority leader.

Acting Senate President Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada made the announcement after the voting.

Senators Juan Edgardo Angara and Grace Poe-Llamanzares nominated Drilon, while Senators Maria Lourdes “Nancy” Binay and Joseph Victor Ejercito nominated Enrile to the fourth highest post in the land.

After the confirmation of his election, Drilon took oath from the youngest lawmaker, Senator Paulo Benigno “Bam” Aquino.

After his speech, Drilon took over the seat from Estrada, who presided at the opening of the session in an acting capacity.

Meanwhile, Recto was elected as Senate President Pro-Tempore. He was earlier nominated by Escudero and seconded by Osmena.

“Senator Ralph G. Recto is hereby declared as senate pro-tempore,” Drilon said when no one objected to Recto’s nomination.

Recto took his oath before Drilon. His wife, Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos, and his son, Ryan Christian were present during the oath-taking.

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano was elected Senate majority leader following his nomination by Aquino. He took his oath before Drilon in the presence of his wife, Taguig City Mayor Lanie Cayetano.

“There were no other candidates, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano is hereby declared Chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Senate Majority Leader under the Senate rules,” Drilon declared.

Enrile automatically assumed the position of minority leader when he lost the election for Senate president.

Aside from Estrada, Drilon, Enrile, Alan Peter Cayetano, Recto, Angara, Llamanzares, Aquino, Binay, Escudero, and Ejercito, also present during the opening of the session were Senators Pia Cayetano, Teofisto Guingona III, Gregorio Honasan, Loren Legarda, Lito Lapid, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Sergio Osmena III, Aquilino Pimentel III, Ramon Revilla Jr., Antonio Trillanes IV, Cynthia Villar, and Vicente Sotto III.

Only Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago was absent during the opening of session of the 16th Congress.

Before the election of Senate officers, the Upper Chamber confirmed a resolution issued by the Commission on Election for the proclamation of the 12 newly elected senators in the May 13, 2013 national and local elections. 

Spotted at the gallery

Spotted at the gallery were government officials, former senators, wives of incumbent and former lawmakers, members of the diplomatic corps, and other private individuals.

Among those who attended were Vice President Jejomar Binay, his wife former Makati Mayor Elenita Binay, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and his wife former Senator Dr. Luisa Loi Ejercito, former Senators Edgardo Angara and his wife Gloria, Heherzon Alvares and his wife NCCA (National Commission on Culture and Arts) Chairman Cecile Guidote-Alvares, Francisco “Kit” Tatad and his wife Fenny, Leticia Ramos-Shahani, Santanina Rasul, and Victor Ziga.

Also in the gallery were Mrs. Lourdes “Bing” Pimentel, wife of former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jr.; Mary Fatima Gomez-Aquino, wife of Sen. Aquino; and Elvira "Tootsy" Echauz, wife of Sen. Angara.