President of the Senate of the Philippines

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President of the Senate of the Philippines
Pangulo ng Senado ng Pilipinas
Seal of the Philippine Senate.svg
Flag of the Senate President of the Philippines.svg
Flag of the Senate
Sen. Pres Vicente Sotto (cropped).jpg
Tito Sotto

since May 21, 2018
Style Mr. President
(When presiding over Senate)
The Honorable
Appointer Elected by the Senate of the Philippines
Inaugural holder Manuel L. Quezon
Formation October 16, 1916
Succession Second in the Presidential Line of Succession
Website Senate
Coat of arms of the Philippines.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Philippines

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, and third highest and most powerful official in the Government of the Philippines. He/she is elected by the entire body to be their leader. The Senate President is second in line in succession for the presidency, behind the Vice President of the Philippines and in front of the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines.

The current Senate President of the 17th Congress of the Philippines is Tito Sotto, who was elected on May 21, 2018.


The Senate President is elected by the majority of the Members of the Senate from among themselves; Since there are 24 Senators, 13 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 Senate President is unseated in the middle of session. Term-sharing agreements among Senators who are both eyeing the position of the Senate President also played a role in changing the leadership of the Senate, but in a smooth manner, the peaceful transition of power and this was done two times in 1999 and in 2006.

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.

Powers and duties[edit]

According to the Rule 3 of the Rules of the Senate, the Senate President has the powers and duties to:

  • 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;
  • To decide all points of order;
  • To sign all measures, memorials, joint and concurrent resolutions; issue warrants, orders of arrest, subpoena and subpoena duces tecum;
  • To see to it that all resolutions of the Senate are complied with;
  • To have general control over the session hall, the antechambers, corridors and offices of the Senate;
  • 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;
  • To designate an Acting Sergeant-at-Arms, if the Sergeant-at-Arms resigns, is replaced or becomes incapacitated;
  • To appoint the subordinate personnel of the Senate in conformity with the provisions of the General Appropriations Act;
  • 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
  • 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, a constitutional body within the Congress that has the sole power to confirm all appointments made by the President of the Philippines . Under Section 2 of Chapter 2 of the Rules of the Commission on Appointments, the powers and duties of the Senate President as its Ex-Officio Chairman are as follows:

  • to issue calls for the meetings of the Commission;
  • to preside at the meetings of the Commission;
  • to preserve order and decorum during the session and, for that purpose, to take such steps as may be convenient or as the Commission may direct;
  • to pass upon all questions of order, but from his decision, any member may appeal to the Commission; and,
  • to execute such decisions, orders, and resolutions as may have been approved by the Commission.

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 and shall be the last to vote on the judgment on such cases according to the Senate Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Trials the Senate adopted on March 23, 2011.

In the Senate, he supervises the committees and attended its hearings and meetings if necessary and such committee reports are being submitted to his/her office.

List of Senate Presidents[edit]

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 August 29, 1916 November 15, 1935 Insular Government
5th Philippine Legislature
6th Philippine Legislature
7th Philippine Legislature
8th Philippine Legislature
9th Philippine Legislature
10th Philippine Legislature
  • 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
(6) Camilo Osías (2nd time) Liberal April 17, 1953 April 30, 1953
8 Jose Zulueta Liberal April 30, 1953 November 30, 1953
(7) 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
9 Ferdinand Marcos Liberal April 5, 1963 April 1964
Nacionalista April 1964 December 30, 1965
10 Arturo Tolentino Nacionalista 6th Congress January 17, 1966 January 26, 1967
11 Gil Puyat Nacionalista January 26, 1967 December 30, 1969
7th Congress January 26, 1970 September 23, 1972
Fourth Republic
12 Jovito Salonga Liberal 8th Congress July 27, 1987 January 18, 1992[1] Fifth Republic
13 Neptali Gonzales LDP January 18, 1992[2] June 30, 1992
9th Congress July 27, 1992 January 18, 1993
14 Edgardo Angara LDP January 18, 1993 June 30, 1995
10th Congress July 24, 1995 August 28, 1995
(13) Neptali Gonzales (2nd time) LDP August 29, 1995 October 10, 1996
15 Ernesto Maceda NPC October 10, 1996 January 26, 1998
(13) Neptali Gonzales (3rd time) LDP January 26, 1998 June 30, 1998
16 Marcelo Fernan LDP 11th Congress July 27, 1998 June 28, 1999
17 Blas Ople LAMP June 29, 1999 July 12, 2000[3]
18 Franklin Drilon LAMP July 12, 2000[4] November 13, 2000
19 Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. PDP–Laban November 13, 2000 June 30, 2001
(18) 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
20 Manuel Villar Nacionalista July 24, 2006 June 30, 2007
14th Congress July 23, 2007 November 17, 2008
21 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
(18) Franklin Drilon (3rd time) Liberal 16th Congress July 22, 2013 June 30, 2016
22 Koko Pimentel PDP–Laban 17th Congress July 25, 2016 May 21, 2018
23 Tito Sotto NPC May 21, 2018 Incumbent


Living former Senate Presidents[edit]

Currently there are six living former Senate Presidents:

Legend: Boldface means still an incumbent Senator.