It’s official: Koko Pimentel succeeds Drilon as Senate President

  • Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III has been elected as the new Senate President
  • Senators Frank Drilon and Tito Sotto were elected Senate President Pro-Tempore and Majority Leader, respectively
  • Senator Ralph Recto was also nominated as president and ended up as the Minority Leader

MANILA, Philippines – PDP-Laban’s Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III has been elected as the next Senate President of the 17th Congress on Monday, July 25, succeeding Senator Franklin Drilon of the Liberal Party (LP).

Pimentel won by 20-3 votes against Senator Ralph Recto who was nominated by Senator Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero. Recto’s nomination was seconded by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, making the three – Recto, Escudero and Trillanes – part of the minority.

Pimentel voted for Recto, while Recto voted for Pimentel. Recto ended up as the Minority Floor Leader.

Aside from Recto, 19 other senators voted for Pimentel: Vicente ‘Tito” Sotto, Juan Miguel Zubiri, Franklin Drilon, Sonny Angara, Bam Aquino, Nancy Binay, Leila de Lima, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Sherwin Gatchalian, Richard Gordon, Gregorio Honasan,  Risa Hontiveros, Panfilo Lacson, Loren Legarda, Manny Pacquiao, Francis Pangilinan, Grace Poe, Joel Villanueva, and Cynthia Villar.

Conspicously absent during the voting was Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, President Rodrigo Duterte’s losing vice president who earlier expressed his desire to challenge Pimentel.

Drilon was elected as the Senate Pro-Tempore while Sotto became the next Majority Floor Leader.

Pimentel is the son and namesake of former senator Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, himself a former Senate President who also succeeded Drilon in the 11th Congress.

He is the only PDP-Laban member and party-mate of President Duterte in the Upper House but managed to gather support from his colleagues dominated by the once-powerful LP of the previous administration.

Pimentel became the 28th Senate President of the republic and the 15th in the post-martial law Congress.