Cynthia Villar not closing doors on Senate presidency

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 30) — Reelected Senator Cynthia Villar is not closing the door on the Senate presidency amid talks of a possible leadership change in the 18th Congress.

In a chance interview with reporters on Thursday, Villar said no one has asked her to seek the leadership post, now held by Senator Vicente "Tito" Sotto III. Villar, but added it is something to think about in the future.

"If ever in the future tinawag nila ko at mag-meeting, then that’s the time I think about it kasi ang dami ko pang ika-catch up na gagawin," Villar said.

"I have to think about it kasi malaki ring responsibility 'yan. I should be ready for it if ever I will like it," she added.

In an earlier interview with another network, Senator-elect Imee Marcos confirmed hearing "some kind of move" to elect Villar as Senate President. Incoming Senator Francis Tolentino earlier claimed there is likely to be a new bloc composed of candidates backed by regional party Hugpong Ng Pagbabago, including Villar. When asked if they will support Sotto, Tolentino said it still needs to be discussed.

Villar was elected for a second term in the May 13 elections, topping the "Magic 12" which was dominated by administration allies like her.

The 17th Congress adjourns on June 7. It will reconvene as the 18th Congress on July 22, when the election of new leaders could happen.

Senators have since reaffirmed their support for Sotto, praising his leadership. Senator Grace Poe even said she will leave the majority bloc and join Sotto in the minority if ever he is ousted.

Sotto himself believes he has the support "of at least 15 or 16" senators. He would need 13 votes to stay as Senate President.

CNN Philippines' Eimor Santos contributed to this report.