Legarda not seeking Senate chair, wants to chair finance panel again

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 13) — Senate candidate Loren Legarda is not in the running for Senate Speaker even as she returns to the Upper House for the fourth time.

Legarda, who is currently in the Top 2 in the partial and unofficial Senate race count, told CNN Philippines. Source Friday that she recognizes her other colleagues who have expressed a preference for the position.

“I know some of my friends and co-workers have said in the media that they’re interested in the job,” she said. “It’s something that will be discussed once we are officially elected and declared by Comelec.”

“I don’t aspire although people have asked me why not,” the former TV journalist added. “But I can say hindi po ako interesado right now. Napakaraming nagtatanong bakit daw hindi ako interesado, sabi ko iba naman ang gusto kong gawin but you will never know. I’m not looking for the job.”

[Translation: I can say I am not interested as of now. So many people have asked me why I am not interested, I said I want to do something else, but you’ll never know. I am not seeking the position.]

Legarda said that, if possible, she would like to chair the Senate Finance Committee, but will accept other leadership positions that are offered to her.

She noted that caucuses will be held before the convening of the 19th Congress.

“It is something that will be discussed once we are officially elected and declared by the Comelec (Electoral Commission),” she stressed. “As always, this is not a unilateral decision, it is done in a very democratic consensus discussion between the elected representatives of the people.”

Re-elected Migz Zubiri and Senator Cynthia Villar are among the candidates for Senate Speaker under the administration of Senator Bongbong Marcos.

Re-elected Win Gatchalian is also eyeing the job.

Before running as a representative of antiquity, Legarda spent many years in the service of the Senate, from 1998 to 2004 and from 2007 to 2019.

She was appointed chair of the upper house committees on climate change, cultural communities and foreign affairs, environment and natural resources, and finance.

Legarda, who is on the Senate UniTeam slate, dismissed the possibility that the Senate is a “buffer” for the president.

It has also pledged to file the “One Tablet, One Student Act” and measures that will promote job creation, improved opportunities for MSMEs and environmental sustainability, among others.

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