Press Release
March 24, 2010

Aquino Confident Senate Will Act to Prevent Power Vacuum

ALAMINOS CITY, Pangasinan - Liberal Party standard bearer Senator Noynoy Aquino on Tuesday voiced confidence that the Senate will act to prevent a possible power vacuum stemming from a possible failure of elections.

Aquino said that although he and his fellow senators are still busy in the campaign trail, they all agree in principle to prevent a political crisis in the event of a power vacuum.

"Sessions will resume after elections, before the June 30 deadline. I am very confident somebody will address the situation, in case there is a failure of proclamation or failure of elections, to provide continuity in the Senate," he said in a press conference here. However, Aquino noted the only way to head off a power vacuum is for the Senate to elect a new president among those whose term ends in 2013.

"I believe it has to be somebody who will continue his term beyond June 30. As to whom we will support we still have to talk with our other allies," Aquino said.

"Senate President Enrile is aware of the situation, but the details have yet to be settled," Aquino added.

Enrile has said that if there is a failure of elections, he will call a meeting of all the senators to choose a new Senate president to ensure a smooth transition of power through the succession process prescribed by the Constitution.

It has been argued that without a new Senate president there would be a power vacuum since the terms of office of those currently in the line of succession-President Arroyo, Vice President Noli de Castro, Enrile, and House Speaker Prospero Nograles-would end on June 30.

The Senate is considered a continuing body since half of its members will serve until 2013. Fears have been expressed that if the Senate fails to elect a new president, Arroyo could become acting president if elected as Representative of Pampanga and, subsequently, as House Speaker.

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