Press Release
July 21, 2006

Drilon will nominate Villar as new Senate President

A smooth change in the Senate leadership is expected when the third regular session of the 13th Congress opens on Monday.

The forthcoming leadership change was anchored on the gentleman's agreement forged by Senate President Franklin M. Drilon and Sen. Manuel Villar at the start of the 13th Congress in July 2004.

Immediately upon the opening of session Monday, Drilon will nominate Villar for the Senate presidency.

It is expected that Senator Villar will be elected by acclamation.

During the joint press conference of Drilon and Villar last June 8, the outgoing Senate chief promised to nominate his successor when the third regular session begins.

"I do not do so with a heavy heart. I know I am entrusting that solemn and lofty task to a person, whom the record shows, is far more than equal to it," said Drilon.

In the same press conference, Villar had said given the chance to lead the Senate there would be no major change in the institution's policy and pledged to continue its position as a rampart of freedom.

Drilon will bow out after five years and seven months as president of the Upper Chamber, the longest to hold the position after the EDSA revolution. Former Sen. Jovito Salonga, the first post-EDSA Senate president, had the second longest stint as Senate chief at four years and four months.

During his Senate presidency, Drilon led the chamber in enacting several landmark legislations, a number of them were designed to help propel the country's economy.

Among the vital legislations enacted during Senator Drilon's term as Senate President were the Anti-Money Laundering Act, Special Purpose Vehicles Act, General Banking Law, E-Commerce Law, Dual Citizenship Act, Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act, Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, Overseas Absentee Voting Act, the Abolition of the Death Penalty Law, Synchronized Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections Act, Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, Government Procurement Reform Act, Philippine Clean Water Act, Alternative Dispute Resolution Act, Amendments to the VAT Law, the Juvenile Justice System Act and the Act Promoting the Welfare of the AFP by Increasing the Rate of Base Pay of its Officers and Enlisted Personnel.

After his election, Villar will take his oath as the 9th post-EDSA Senate president in the presence of his family.

A photo session of senators will then follow at the plenary hall.

In the afternoon, the senators will join members of the House of Representatives at the Batasan Pambansa for a joint session to hear the State-of-the-Nation Address of President Arroyo.

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