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President of the Senate of the Philippines

President of the Senate of the Philippines
Franklin Drilon

since July 22, 2013
Style The Honorable
Appointer Elected by the Senate of the Philippines
Inaugural holder Manuel L. Quezon
Formation October 16, 1916
Website Senate
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The President of the Senate of the Philippines (Filipino: Pangulo ng Senado ng Pilipinas) or more popularly known as the Senate President, is the presiding officer and the highest ranking-official of the Senate of the Philippines. He/she is elected by the entire body to be their leader. The current Senate President of the 16th Congress of the Philippines is Frank Drilon, who was elected on July 22, 2013.

The Senate President is second in line in succession for the presidency, behind the Vice President and in front of the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Manner of election

The Senate President is elected by the majority of the members of the Senate; since there are 24 senators, thirteen votes are needed to win the senate presidency, including any vacant seats or senators not attending the session. Although Senate presidents are elected at the start of each Congress, there had been numerous instances of Senate coups in which a sitting president is unseated in the middle of session.

Unlike most Senate Presidents that are the symbolic presiding officers of the upper house, the Senate President of the Philippines wields considerate power by influencing the legislative agenda and has the ability to vote not just in order to break ties, although the Senate President is traditionally the last senator to vote. A tied vote, therefore, means that the motion is lost, and that the Senate President cannot cast a tie-breaking vote since that would mean that the presiding officer would have had voted twice.


According to the Rules of the Senate, the Senate President has the power to:

(a) To preside over the sessions of the Senate on the days and at the hours designated by it; to call the Senate to order and, if there is a quorum, to order the reading of the Journal of the preceding session and, after the Senate shall have acted upon it, to dispose of the matters appearing in the Order of Business in accordance with the Rules;

(b) To decide all points of order;

(c) To sign all measures, memorials, joint and concurrent resolutions; issue warrants, orders of arrest, subpoena and subpoena duces tecum;

(d) To see to it that all resolutions of the Senate are complied with;

(e) To have general control over the session hall, the antechambers, corridors and offices of the Senate;

(f) To maintain order in the session hall, the antechambers, corridors and in the offices of the Senate, and whenever there is disorder, to take appropriate measures to quell it;

(g) To designate an Acting Sergeant-at-Arms, if the Sergeant-at-Arms resigns, is replaced or becomes incapacitated;

(h) To appoint the subordinate personnel of the Senate in conformity with the provisions of the General Appropriations Act;

(i) To dismiss any employee for cause, which dismissal in the case of permanent and classified employees shall be in conformity with the Civil Service Law; and

(j) To diminish or increase the number of authorized personnel by consolidating or separating positions or items whenever the General Appropriations Act so authorizes and the total amount of salaries or allocations does not exceed the amount earmarked therein.

The Senate President is also the ex officio chairman of the Commission on Appointments. And if other impeachable officers other than the President such as the Ombudsman is on an impeachment trial, the Senate President is the presiding officer.

List of Senate Presidents

The Senate was created on 1916 with the abolition of the Philippine Commission as the upper house with the Philippine Assembly as the lower house. The Senate and the House of Representatives comprised the Philippine Legislature (PL). Representation was by senatorial district; Manuel L. Quezon was elected Senator from the now-defunct 5th Legislative District.

All Senators from 1941 onwards were elected at-large, with the whole Philippines as one constituency.

# Senate President Party Legislature Start of service End of service Era
1 Manuel L. Quezon Nacionalista 4th Philippine Legislature 1916 1919 Insular Government
5th Philippine Legislature 1919 1922
6th Philippine Legislature 1922 1925
7th Philippine Legislature 1925 1928
8th Philippine Legislature 1928 1931
9th Philippine Legislature 1931 1934
10th Philippine Legislature 1934 1935
  • The Senate and the House of Representatives were merged into the unicameral National Assembly in 1935 at the onset of the Commonwealth period. It was replaced by the bicameral Commonwealth Congress (CC) with the amendment of the 1935 Constitution in 1940, with the first election for a senate elected at large held in November, 1941. However, the outbreak of World War II in the Philippines meant that the Commonwealth Congress did not convene until 1945.
  • For leaders of the National Assembly, see Speakers of the National Assembly.
2 Manuel Roxas Nacionalista
(Liberal wing)
1st Commonwealth Congress July 9, 1945 May 25, 1946
3 José Avelino Liberal 2nd Commonwealth Congress May 25, 1946 July 4, 1946
1st Congress July 5, 1946 February 21, 1949 Third Republic
4 Mariano Jesús Cuenco Liberal February 21, 1949 December 30, 1949
2nd Congress December 30, 1949 December 30, 1951
5 Quintin Paredes Liberal March 5, 1952 April 17, 1952
6 Camilo Osías Nacionalista April 17, 1952 April 30, 1952
7 Eulogio Rodriguez Nacionalista April 30, 1952 April 17, 1953
8 Camilo Osías (2nd time) Liberal April 17, 1953 April 30, 1953
9 Jose Zulueta Liberal April 30, 1953 November 30, 1953
10 Eulogio Rodriguez (2nd time) Nacionalista November 30, 1953 December 30, 1953
3rd Congress January 25, 1954 December 30, 1957
4th Congress January 27, 1958 December 30, 1961
5th Congress January 22, 1962 April 5, 1963
11 Ferdinand Marcos Liberal April 5, 1963 April 1964
Nacionalista April 1964 December 30, 1965
12 Arturo Tolentino Nacionalista 6th Congress January 17, 1966 January 26, 1967
13 Gil Puyat Nacionalista January 26, 1967 December 30, 1969
7th Congress January 26, 1970 September 23, 1972
Fourth Republic
14 Jovito Salonga Liberal 8th Congress July 27, 1987 January 1, 1992[1] Fifth Republic
15 Neptali Gonzales LDP January 1, 1992[2] June 30, 1992
9th Congress July 27, 1992 January 18, 1993
16 Edgardo Angara LDP January 18, 1993 June 30, 1995
10th Congress July 24, 1995 August 28, 1995
17 Neptali Gonzales (2nd time) LDP August 29, 1995 October 10, 1996
18 Ernesto Maceda NPC October 10, 1996 January 26, 1998
19 Neptali Gonzales (3rd time) LDP January 26, 1998 June 30, 1998
20 Marcelo Fernan LDP 11th Congress July 27, 1998 June 28, 1999
21 Blas Ople LAMP June 29, 1999 July 12, 2000[3]
22 Franklin Drilon LAMP July 12, 2000[4] November 13, 2000
23 Aquilino Pimentel PDP-LABAN November 13, 2000 June 30, 2001
24 Franklin Drilon (2nd time) Independent 12th Congress July 23, 2001 November 24, 2003
Liberal November 24, 2003 June 30, 2004
13th Congress July 24, 2004 July 24, 2006
25 Manny Villar Nacionalista July 24, 2006 June 30, 2007
14th Congress July 23, 2007 November 17, 2008
26 Juan Ponce Enrile PMP November 17, 2008 June 30, 2010
15th Congress July 26, 2010 June 5, 2013
Jinggoy Estrada
PMP June 5, 2013 June 30, 2013
27 Franklin Drilon (3rd time) Liberal 16th Congress July 22, 2013 present


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 id:Vacant      value:black
 id:None        value:black
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 id:NP          value:drabgreen   legend:Nacionalista
 id:LP          value:dullyellow  legend:Liberal
 id:UNIDO       value:blue        legend:LDP
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 from:10/16/1916 till:03/04/1935 text:"Manuel Quezon" color:NP
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 from:07/09/1945 till:12/30/1946 text:"Manuel Roxas" color:NP
 from:05/25/1946 till:02/21/1949 text:"Jose Avelino" color:LP
 from:02/21/1949 till:12/30/1951 text:"Mariano Cuenco" color:LP
 from:03/05/1952 till:04/17/1952 text:"Quentin Paredes" color:LP
 from:04/17/1952 till:04/30/1952 text:"Camilo Osias" color:NP
 from:04/30/1952 till:04/17/1953 text:"Eulogio Rodriguez" color:NP
 from:04/30/1953 till:05/20/1953 text:"Camilo Osias" color:LP
 from:05/20/1953 till:12/30/1953 text:"Jose Zulueta" color:LP
 from:01/25/1954 till:04/03/1963 text:"Eulogio Rodriguez" color:NP
 from:04/03/1963 till:04/01/1964 color:LP
 from:04/01/1964 till:12/30/1965 color:NP text:"Ferdinand Marcos" 
 from:01/17/1966 till:01/26/1967 text:"Arturo Tolentino" color:NP
 from:01/26/1967 till:11/23/1972 text:"Gil Puyat" color:NP
 from:11/23/1972 till:07/27/1987 text:"Abolished" color:abolished
 from:07/27/1987 till:01/18/1992 text:"Jovito Salonga" color:LP
 from:01/18/1992 till:01/18/1993 text:"Neptali Gonzales" color:UNIDO
 from:01/18/1993 till:08/28/1995 text:"Edgardo Angara" color:UNIDO
 from:08/29/1995 till:10/10/1996 text:"Neptali Gonzales" color:UNIDO
 from:10/10/1996 till:01/28/1998 text:"Ernesto Maceda" color:NPC
 from:01/26/1998 till:06/30/1998 text:"Neptali Gonzales" color:UNIDO
 from:07/27/1998 till:06/28/1999 text:"Marcelo Fernan" color:UNIDO
 from:06/29/1999 till:04/12/2000 text:"Blas Ople" color:LAMMP
 from:04/12/2000 till:11/13/2000 text:"Franklin Drilon" color:LAMMP
 from:11/13/2000 till:07/23/2001 text:"Aquilino Pimentel" color:PDP
 from:07/23/2001 till:07/24/2003 color:Ind
   from:07/24/2003 till:07/24/2006 color:LP text:"Franklin Drilon" 
 from:07/24/2006 till:11/17/2008 text:"Manny Villar" color:NP
 from:11/17/2008 till:06/05/2013 text:"Juan Ponce Enrile" color:LAMMP
 from:06/05/2013 till:07/22/2013 text:"Jinggoy Estrada" color:LAMMP
 from:07/22/2013 till:05/05/2015 text:"Franklin Drilon" color:LP


Living former Senate Presidents

Currently there are seven living former Senate Presidents:

Legend: Boldface means still the incumbent Senator.