DRILON DENIES OFFERING COMMITTEE CHAIRMANSHIPS

MANILA,  May 28, 2004
(STAR)
Senate President Franklin Drilon belied yesterday claims that he entered into an agreement with opposition senators for juicy committee chairmanships in the chamber.

Drilon was reacting to a statement by Sen. Edgardo Angara that an arrangement was made between the majority and the minority lawmakers.

Angara had said Drilon entered into an agreement with Senate Minority Leader Vicente Sotto III, in which the majority was prepared to offer the minority the chairmanships of the Blue Ribbon Committee and the committees on justice, education and energy.

Drilon claimed it was Sotto who had earlier proposed that the minority senators are willing to share the workload of the Senate by assuming the chairmanships of certain committees, particularly those vacated by Sen. Renato Cayetano who passed away last June 24.

"What I did was I told Senator Sotto that I would take his suggestion into consideration and submit the matter for the decision of the members of the majority. In fact, we discussed this during a recent majority caucus," Drilon said.

Drilon claimed Angara was being "inaccurate and misleading" in his allegations that he entered into an agreement with Sotto to give the chairmanships of the said committees to the minority bloc.

Senators John Osmeña and Tessie Aquino-Oreta have expressed their interest in assuming the chairmanships of the energy and the education committee, respectively.

Drilon pointed out that what he discussed with the senators from both sides was the possibility of having Osmeña assume the chairmanship of the committee on energy because of his known expertise and familiarity in the energy sector. — Jose Rodel Clapano


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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