Angara on Senate presidency: No, thanks

DAVAO CITY, Philippines - Sen Edgardo Angara said on Wednesday, January 16, he has no plans of being Senate President even as fellow Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago named him as one of the 3 lawmakers qualified to replace Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile. 

Santiago's other choices are senators Manuel Villar Jr. and Franklin Drilon. Santiago mentioned their names Wednesday, January 16, following a tiff with Enrile over the latter's decision to give P1.6 million each to 18 senators in December 2012. Enrile excluded Santiago and senators Antonio Trillanes IV, Alan Peter Cayetano and Pia Cayetano - all his critics - from the fund release.

There has been speculation about a plot to oust Enrile as Senate President before both chambers of Congress go on a break for the May elections.

"In less than 4 months, I'm going to step down for good out of public office, not of public service," Angara told reporters on the sidelines of the 40th Anniversary and National Convention of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines in this city.

Angara said he will not be seeking any elective post anymore. "After 34 years in public office, I think I deserve a vacation," he said.

Angara's son, Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara, is running for the Senate in the 2013 midterm elections.

When asked if his bloc in the Senate has other senators in mind to replace Enrile, Angara said he would rather not dwell on things that may "divide" the Senate and will focus instead on working on pending bills. 

Angara's bloc includes Senators Loren Legarda, Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr. and Manuel "Lito" Lapid, Jr. -

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