MANILA, Philippines – Ahead of the opening of the 18th Congress, some newly elected senators were at the Senate for what they called their “first day of school” on Tuesday, June 25.
Newbie senators Imee Marcos, Ronald dela Rosa, Christopher Go, and Francis Tolentino attended the orientation on the processes of the institution organized by the Senate secretariat.
Go, President Rodrigo Duterte’s aide prior to his election, likened the briefing to school. Go garnered the 3rd most number of votes at 20.66 million in the recent Senate race.
“Para akong pumapasok sa eskwelahan (It’s like I’m going to school),” Go said.
Tolentino was the first to arrive while Marcos was the only senator who arrived a little late for the 10 am briefing.
The new lawmakers will receive briefings from the Senate secretariat, sergeant-at-arms, external affairs and relations, legislation department, administration and finance department, gender and development, and the bids and awards committee.
The Senate neophytes have earlier expressed interest in heading committees but Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said that they should “study first” before leading major committees. (READ: 9 out of 12 elected senatorial bets are Duterte allies)
An ABS-CBN report had cited Senator Sherwin Gatchalian as saying earlier this month that Go was poised to head the committee on health, having led the creation of the one-stop shop Malasakit Centers for indigent patients.
Dela Rosa, the architect of the Duterte administration’s war on drugs, was supposed to get the committees on public order and dangerous drugs, and on peace, unification, and reconciliation.
Tolentino, a former head of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, will chair the committee on local government while Marcos was being considered for the committee on ways and means, Gatchalian had said.
The 18th Congress opens on July 22. – Rappler.com