The 23-member Senate, after weeks of wrangling, finally elected 12 senators to the bicameral Commission on Appointments (CA) whose chairman is Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.
Ten of the 12 are Senate President Pro Tempore Jose ‘’Jinggoy’’ Estrada, Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, Senators Franklin M. Drilon, Gregorio Honasan, Ralph G. Recto, Sergio Osmeña III, Edgardo J. Angara, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., Francis “Chiz” Escudero, and Miriam Defensor Santiago, representing the majority bloc.
Representing the minority bloc are Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter S. Cayetano and Senator Joker Arroyo.
The Upper House also elected six senators – Francis Pangilinan, Manuel “Lito” Lapid, Pilar Juliana “Pia” S. Cayetano, Loren Legarda, and Edgardo J. Angara – to the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET).
By 2011, Senators Escudero and Teofisto Guingona III will replace Honasan and Angara at the SET.
The CA is composed of 12 senators and 12 members of the House of Representatives with the Senate President as the concurrent chairman.
The stalled election of the Senate contingent to the CA was finally cleared up after some members of the Nacionalista Party (NP) joined the majority based not on the constitutional provision of party representation but on group representation per agreement of the senators.
Thus the deadlock was broken.
Because of this, the issue of the minority's 3.5 fractional representation was resolved.
Cayetano earlier wanted their group to have four seats but this was contested by Enrile who earlier dared Cayetano that they place the problem to a vote.
Adding to the resolution of the problem was the decision of Sen. Manuel Villar Jr., NP president, to give up his CA seat to Alan Cayetano.
Because of this, only Cayetano and Arroyo represented the minority bloc while the allies of the NP – Revilla and Santiago – joined the majority bloc.
The CA chairman votes only in case of a tie.
The CA, according to the Constitution, will act on all appointments submitted within 30 session days of Congress.