Estrada salutes Pangilinan (8:03 a.m.)

MANILA -- Senator Jinggoy Estrada said Monday that he "commends, admires, and salutes" Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan for withdrawing his bid for the Senate presidency.

Pangilinan dropped his bid Sunday, a day before the Senate elects its new president. He said his stepping aside will pave the way for members of the Upper House to unite.

Estrada, in a television interview Monday, said that with Pangilinan's withdrawal, he is confident that incumbent Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile will retain his post.

He said some members of the Liberal Party and Nacionalista Party are now supporting Enrile.

As of Monday morning, Enrile is getting more than 13 votes, said Estrada. He said Senator Manny Villar might not anymore run for the post.

Reports said Sunday night that Villar also dropped his bid for the Senate presidency, but the camp of the defeated presidential bet has not yet confirmed this. (Sunnex)


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