Zubiri: Supermajority chooses Tolentino to head Blue Ribbon over Cayetano

Senator Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri on Wednesday, 6 July said that Sen. Francis Tolentino was chosen by the so-called “supermajority” in the Senate to head the Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations, also known as the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.,This, after returning Senator Alan Peter Cayetano expressed his interest to the panel that was tasked to investigate alleged wrongdoings of the government, its officials, and its attached agencies, in exchange for joining the majority bloc. ,Zubiri said the chairmanship was given to Tolentino because the post was already offered and accepted by the latter from the “very beginning.”,“Although with a little bit of a hesitation because it has a lot of jobs. But we committed to him our support and he already accepted it. That’s already a done issue,” he said.,The senator, who is poised to be the Senate President, also said that the majority chose Tolentino since he is part of their bloc. ,“That is what the majority bloc wants, they prefer it to be amongst the members of the supermajority. That’s how it is,” he said.,Zubiri stressed that even if he assigns Cayetano to chair the committee, the group will not permit it since the chairmanships of the committees in the upper chamber will be formalized through elections on the opening of the session. ,“That’s what it is. Let’s be practical about it… It’s not about really what you want. It’s about what the body wants. All selected chairmen would be elected on the floor,” he said.,The lawmaker expressed his optimism that Cayetano would still join the majority despite the bloc’s decision. ,He added that he is planning to meet with the Senators Alan and Pia Cayetano this week to finalize the discussions.,“I have a very few more committees reserved for them like Government Corporations. We also have good chairmanships still in store for them,” he said.,“Of course, Pia will definitely retain hers, whether she likes it or not, we will really give her the Sustainable Development Goals because that’s really for her. It is very fit for Senator Cayetano and we will get her other committees that she will be happy to be a chairperson of. But yet I cannot confirm until we finalize the talks with the Cayetano siblings,” he added. ,Zubiri also disclosed that the Senate majority bloc held a meeting on Tuesday at the Manila Polo Club where they discussed committee chairmanships, vice-chairmanships, and who will sit in the Commission on Appointments and Senate Electoral Tribunal.,“We all came out very happy. It was good bonding, good fellowship. I think it’s going to be, in the near future, a very good, progressive, and productive Senate,” he said.,The official also revealed that Senator Imee Marcos is set to chair four panels in the 19th Congress such as the Senate Committees on Foreign Relations, Electoral Reform, Social Justice, and Cooperatives.,“She is hardworking and you know, I thank her because she is willing to hold these four committees,” he said.