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Aquino allies could dominate Senate: Osmeña

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President Benigno S. Aquino III answers questions directed to him during the media briefing after leading the Ceremonial Groundbreaking of the Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project (JRMP) II at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol in Bonifacio Drive, Iloilo City on Thursday (February 21, 2013). The Php11.21 billion JRMP II is a priority irrigation project of the Department of Agriculture (DA) designed to significantly contribute to sustaining the country's rice self-sufficiency level. Once completed, the irrigation component of the JRMP II will provide year-round irrigation to approximately 32,000 hectares of farm land and benefit more than 783,000 farmers in Iloilo. The JRMP features the construction of three dams – Jalaur Reservoir, Jalaur Afterbay and Alibunan Catch Dam, considered as the first large scale reservoir dam outside Luzon. In photo are Senator Franklin Drilon, Team PNoy Senatoriables former Senator Ramon Magsaysay, Jr., former Akbayan Partylist Representative Ana Theresia “Risa” Hontiveros-Baraquel, Senator Aquilino Martin “Koko” Pimentel III and former National Youth Commission (NYC) chairperson Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr. and Iloilo 3rd District Representative Arthur Defensor, Jr. (Photo by: Robert Viñas / Malacañang Photo Bureau).

President Benigno S. Aquino III answers questions directed to him during the media briefing after leading the Ceremonial Groundbreaking of the Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project (JRMP) II at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol in Bonifacio Drive, Iloilo City on Thursday (February 21, 2013). The Php11.21 billion JRMP II is a priority irrigation project of the Department of Agriculture (DA) designed to significantly contribute to sustaining the country’s rice self-sufficiency level. Once completed, the irrigation component of the JRMP II will provide year-round irrigation to approximately 32,000 hectares of farm land and benefit more than 783,000 farmers in Iloilo. The JRMP features the construction of three dams – Jalaur Reservoir, Jalaur Afterbay and Alibunan Catch Dam, considered as the first large scale reservoir dam outside Luzon. In photo are Senator Franklin Drilon, Team PNoy Senatoriables former Senator Ramon Magsaysay, Jr., former Akbayan Partylist Representative Ana Theresia “Risa” Hontiveros-Baraquel, Senator Aquilino Martin “Koko” Pimentel III and former National Youth Commission (NYC) chairperson Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr. and Iloilo 3rd District Representative Arthur Defensor, Jr. (Photo by: Robert Viñas / Malacañang Photo Bureau).

MANILA, Mar 14 (Mabuhay) – A senator sees a Senate dominated by allies of President Aquino after the 2013 midterm elections, with administration senatorial candidates doing well in recent popularity surveys.

This can also mean a change in the Senate’s leadership, Sen. Sergio Osmeña III told reporters on Thursday.

“You can practically be definite it will happen,” he said.

Osmeña, who has been helping the campaigns of some senatorial candidates, said the surveys indicate that the Aquino administration “will be able to garner a majority.”

He added, however, that survey results can still change as the elections draw near.

Osmeña said that if the coalition among senatorial candidates from the Liberal Party and Nacionalista Party-which were rivals in the 2010 elections-holds out, they can have the numbers in the 16th Congress.

He believes their numbers would be enough to install a new Senate president. Among the possible candidates is Sen. Franklin Drilon, a staunch Aquino ally and LP’s campaign manager.

For Osmeña, however, a “12-0″ win for Team PNoy is not achievable.

“The 12-0, that’s a propaganda claim,” he said, “although a 9-3 would be fantastic.”

Osmeña said he has been a campaign adviser to Team PNoy senatorial candidates Bam Aquino and Grace Poe, while also helping some candidates from the opposition United Nationalist Alliance.

But he does not want to take credit for Aquino’s and Poe’s rise in the surveys.

“The common denominator between these two is that they’re young, they’re well-educated, and they have a very clean record,” Osmena said. “To top it all, most of our voters are very young also. I guess the appeal has been there and the connection has been established.” (MNS)

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