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Floor leaders of the Senate of the Philippines


Floor leaders of the Senate of the Philippines

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Philippines

The Senate Majority and Minority Leaders (also called as Senate Floor Leaders) are the two Senators of the Philippines who are elected by their respective parties or coalitions as their official leaders. They serve as the chief spokesmen of their party with regard to their business in the Senate.

Current floor leaders

The current Majority Leader of the Senate of the Philippines is Vicente Sotto III, who has held the office of Majority Leader since July 26, 2010. His term will expire at the end of the 15th Congress on July 30, 2013.

The current Minority Leader of the Senate of the Philippines is Alan Peter S. Cayetano, who has held the office of Minority Leader since July 26, 2010. His term will expire at the end of the 15th Congress on July 30, 2013.


The positions of Majority and Minority leaders of the Senate of the Philippines are similarly alike to the United States Senate's party leaders.

When the Philippines was a Commonwealth of the United States during the 1930s, it followed the American style of legislature. Then, upon the adoption of the 1935 Constitution, the Philippine government eventually patterned its bicameral Congress to the United States Congress'. Thus, the majority and minority leaders of the Philippine and American Senate are almost alike.

But on June 12, 1978, when the Interim Batasang Pambansa was inaugurated as mandated by the 1973 Constitution as the country shifted from a presidential to a parliamentary form of government, it automatically abolished the two houses of Congress. The offices of the Senate majority and minority leaders were also automatically abolished.

On July 27, 1987, 5 months after the EDSA Revolution that toppled the Marcos administration, the bicameral Congress resumed its session after 15 years of its abolition. All offices and positions of the Senate were restored upon the resumption of the 8th Congress of the Philippines.

The first Majority leader of the Senate after its restoration on July 27, 1987 was Orlando S. Mercado while the first Minority leader of the Senate was Juan Ponce Enrile.

On July 26, 2004, Francis Pangilinan was re-elected by his party to serve as their Majority leader after he served a short term when then Senator Loren Legarda left the majority and allied with the opposition to run for Vice President against then Senator Noli De Castro in the 2004 national elections.

Majority leader of the Senate

In the modern Senate, the second in command is the Majority leader. His primary responsibility is to manage the legislative affairs and the business for the part of the majority in the chamber.

He is chosen by the majority party in the Senate to serve as their official leader in the body.

While nothing in the Rules of the Senate expressly states the powers of the Majority leader, to a great extent, he is very influential in the passage of bills.

As the traditional Chairman of the Committee on Rules, the Majority leader helps formulate, promote, negotiate and defend the majority's legislative program, particularly on the floor. By tradition also, the Senate President or any Presiding Officer gives the Majority leader priority in obtaining the floor.

He also helps in developing the calendar of the Senate and assist the Senate President with program development & policy formation and decisions.

He also has the power to exercise party discipline in consultation with other senior party leaders, with regards of voting on party policies and programs deemed to be crucial. If ever, a member of his party doesn't vote for the party's proposed measures, he can demote him/her from committee assignments leading to a reshuffle on some of the Senate committees.

Minority leader of the Senate

The minority group chooses from among themselves the Minority leader who is considered as the titular head of the minority in the Senate and often called as the "shadow president."

In many past rigodons of the Senate or the so-called Senate "coups", sometimes the Minority leader becomes the President and the ousted President becomes the minority leader.

The basic duties of the Minority leader is that he becomes the spokesman for his party or group or coalition and enunciates its policies. He is expected to be alert and vigilant in defense of the minority's rights. It is his function and duty to criticize constructively the policies and programs of the majority, and to this end employ parliamentary tactics and give close attention to all proposed legislation.

The Rules of the Senate gives the President pro tempore and the Majority and Minority Leaders unique privileges as all are ex-officio members of all the permanent committees of the Senate.


Lakas (former)
Lakas-Kampi/Lakas (current)
Congress/Legislature Duration Majority leader Senate President Minority leader
4th Legislature 1916–19 Francisco Villanueva Manuel L. Quezon
5th Legislature 1919–22 Francisco Enage Manuel L. Quezon
6th Legislature 1922–25 Francisco Enage Manuel L. Quezon
7th Legislature 1925–28 Manuel L. Quezon
8th Legislature 1928–31 José P. Laurel Manuel L. Quezon
8th Legislature 1928–31 José P. Laurel Manuel L. Quezon
9th Legislature 1931–34 Benigno Aquino, Sr. Manuel L. Quezon José P. Laurel
10th Legislature 1934–35 Claro M. Recto Manuel L. Quezon
1st Commonwealth Congress 1945–46 Melecio Arranz Manuel Roxas
2nd Commonwealth Congress 1946 Tomas Cabili José Avelino Carlos P. Garcia
1st Congress 1946–49
Mariano Jesús Cuenco
2nd Congress 1949–53 Tomas Cabili Mariano Jesús Cuenco Carlos P. Garcia
Quintin Paredes
Camilo Osías
Eulogio Rodriguez
Camilo Osías
Jose Zulueta
Eulogio Rodriguez
3rd Congress 1953–57 Cipriano Primicias Eulogio Rodriguez Lorenzo Tañada
4th Congress 1957–61 Cipriano Primicias Eulogio Rodriguez Ambrosio Padilla
Ferdinand Marcos
5th Congress 1961–65 Cipriano Primicias Eulogio Rodriguez Estanislao Fernandez
Arturo Tolentino Ferdinand Marcos
6th Congress 1965–69 Jose Roy Arturo Tolentino Ambrosio Padilla
Rodolfo Guanzon
Arturo Tolentino Gil Puyat
7th Congress 1969–72 Arturo Tolentino Gil Puyat Gerardo Roxas
8th Congress 1987–92 Orlando Mercado Jovito Salonga Juan Ponce Enrile
Teofisto Guingona
Alberto Romulo Neptali Gonzales Wigberto Tañada
9th Congress 1992–95 Alberto Romulo Neptali Gonzales Wigberto Tañada
Edgardo Angara
10th Congress 1995–98 Franklin Drilon Wigberto Tañada
Neptali Gonzales Edgardo Angara
Ernesto Maceda Neptali Gonzales
Neptali Gonzales Ernesto Maceda
11th Congress 1998–2001 Franklin Drilon Marcelo Fernan Teofisto Guingona
Blas Ople
Francisco Tatad Franklin Drilon
Aquilino Pimentel, Jr.
Loren Legarda Francisco Tatad
12th Congress 2001–04 Loren Legarda Franklin Drilon Francis Pangilinan
Francis Pangilinan Franklin Drilon Vicente Sotto III
13th Congress 2004–07 Francis Pangilinan Franklin Drilon Aquilino Pimentel, Jr.
Manny Villar
14th Congress 2007–10 Francis Pangilinan Manny Villar Aquilino Pimentel, Jr.
Juan Miguel Zubiri Juan Ponce Enrile
15th Congress 2010–13 Vicente Sotto III Juan Ponce Enrile Alan Peter Cayetano
16th Congress 2013–2016 Alan Peter Cayetano Franklin Drilon Juan Ponce Enrile
Vicente Sotto III


  • Officers of the Philippine Senate
  • List of Senators

External links

  • Senate of the Philippines
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