July 23,2013 12:13
By: Tara Yap
ILONGGO Senator Franklin M. Drilon holds the third highest position in the country for the third time.
Drilon of the Liberal Party was elected Senate President after getting 17 votes at the start of the 16th Congress Monday.
Drilon took over the Senate from Senator Juan Ponce Enrile who got six votes.
The senators who voted for Drilon are Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, Grace Poe, Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, Alan Peter Cayetano, Pia Cayetano, Loren Legarda, Francis Escudero, Antonio Trillanes IV, Cynthia Villar, Teofisto Guingona III, Lito Lapid, Ralph Recto, Ramon "Bong" Revilla, Jr., Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and Sergio Osmeña.
Senators Nancy Binay, JV Ejercito, Jinggoy Estrada, Gregorio Honasan and Vicente Sotto III voted for Enrile.
In his acceptance speech, Drilon urged his colleagues to work together to restore the public’s trust in the Senate in the light of the pork barrel scam.
“Let us do our share in nation building. We must be a sensitive and responsive Senate—a Senate that feels the pulse of the people. A Senate that is tireless in pursuing reforms to propel our beloved country to greater economic, political and social heights,” he said.
Drilon is credited for bringing multi-billion development projects for the city and province of Iloilo such as the P11.2-billion Jalaur River Multipurpose Project-Stage II (JRMP-II).
Drilon also backed the construction of the P500-million Iloilo Convention Center at the old Iloilo Airport site in Mandurriao, Iloilo City. The construction, which started earlier this month, will strengthen the bid of Iloilo City to host one or two ministerial meetings of the 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit.
Drilon is also the brains behind the ongoing cleanup and development of the Iloilo-Batiano Rivers.
Drilon’s also allocated P70 million of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) for the construction of the Iloilo River Esplanade. He also funded the construction of the circumferential roads linking Metro Iloilo towns to Iloilo City.
Drilon first headed the Senate from July 2000 to June 2001 while his second term was between 2001 and 2006 during the incumbency of former president Gloria Arroyo.