PASAY CITY – Who is the minority leader of the Philippine Senate?

Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, an independent, and Risa Hontiveros of the minority bloc are fighting for the recognition as minority leader of the Upper Chamber of Congress.

Their contest reached the Commission on Appointments (CA) during its first regular session.

The  two senators argued again during the CA Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing for the confirmation of Ambassador Antonio Manuel Lagdameo as permanent representative of the Philippines to the United Nations in New York.

Cayetano and Hontiveros last week argued over rules during the election of the members and officers of the CA.

Hontiveros questioned Cayetano’s election as CA Minority Leader and pointed out that the latter belongs to the independent bloc

Cayetano and Hontiveros argued over rules during the election of the members and officers of the Commission on Appointments (CA).

Hontiveros questioned Cayetano’s election as CA Minority Leader and pointed out that the latter belongs to the independent bloc.

Senators Aquilino Pimentel III and Hontiveros are the only members of the minority.

“There has been a change of term here on the CA floor. But just for the record, the history is clear kasi sa kasaysayan naman po tayo nagbabatay ng mga usapin ng tradisyon (because it is history where we base our discussions on tradition),” she said.

Cayetano said Hontiveros’ interpretation that there has been a change of nomenclature is inaccurate.

“The nomenclature or the labeling is based on the Rules of the Senate. Based on the Rules of the Senate, if I’m not mistaken, in the House (of Representatives), it’s the same. If you vote for the Senate President, you are in the majority. If you do not, you are in the minority,” Cayetano said, emphasizing the difference between the rules of the Senate and CA.

Hontiveros said it concerns her that Cayetano, an independent senator, is voted as CA Minority Leader.

“It is important for bodies such as these to have clarity as to the positions of each member. This is important for lines of accountability and important to ensure that we have a genuine minority voice,” Hontiveros added.