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
StyleMr. President
(When presiding over Senate)
The Honorable
AppointerElected by the Senate of the Philippines
Inaugural holderManuel L. Quezon
FormationOctober 16, 1916
SuccessionThird (3rd) in the Presidential Line of Succession
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 Tenure of Office Legislature Era Ref.
1 Manuel L. Quezon (November 1942).jpg Manuel Quezon Nacionalista August 29, 1916–November 15, 1935 Fourth Philippine Legislature Insular Government [1]
Fifth Philippine Legislature
Sixth Philippine Legislature
Seventh Philippine Legislature
Eighth Philippine Legislature
Ninth Philippine Legislature
Tenth 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 the leaders of the National Assembly, see Speakers of the National Assembly.
Commonwealth [2]
2 Manuel Roxas 2.jpg Manuel Roxas Nacionalista
(Liberal wing)
July 9, 1945–May 25, 1946 First Commonwealth Congress [3]
3 Jose Avelino studio photo.jpg José Avelino Liberal May 25, 1946–July 4, 1946 Second Commonwealth Congress
July 5, 1946–February 21, 1949 First Congress Third Republic
4 Mariano Jesús Cuenco February 21, 1949–December 30, 1949
December 30, 1949–December 30, 1951 Second Congress
5 Quintin Paredes photo.jpg Quintín Paredes March 5, 1952–April 17, 1952
6 Camilo Osias studio photo.jpg Camilo Osías Nacionalista April 17, 1952–April 30, 1952
7 Eulogio Amang Rodriguez.jpg Eulogio Rodriguez April 30, 1952–April 17, 1953
Camilo Osias studio photo.jpg Camilo Osías
(second time)
Liberal April 17, 1953–April 30, 1953
8 Jose Zulueta portrait.jpg José Zulueta April 30, 1953–November 30, 1953
Eulogio Amang Rodriguez.jpg Eulogio Rodriguez
(second time)
Nacionalista November 30, 1953–December 30, 1953
January 25, 1954–December 30, 1957 Third Congress
January 27, 1958–December 30, 1961 Fourth Congress
January 22, 1962–April 5, 1963 Fifth Congress
9 Ferdinand Marcos.JPEG Ferdinand Marcos Liberal April 5, 1963–April 1964
Nacionalista April 1964–December 30, 1965
10 Arturo Tolentino.jpg Arturo Tolentino January 17, 1966–January 26, 1967 Sixth Congress
11 Gil Puyat photo.jpg Gil Puyat January 26, 1967–December 30, 1969
January 26, 1970–September 23, 1972 Seventh Congress
Fourth Republic
12 Salonga.jpg Jovito Salonga Liberal July 27, 1987–January 18, 1992 Eighth Congress Fifth Republic
13 Blank Photo.png Neptali Gonzales Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino January 18, 1992–June 30, 1992
July 27, 1992 January 18, 1993 Ninth Congress
14 Edgardo Angara picture.jpg Edgardo Angara January 18, 1993–June 30, 1995
July 24, 1995–August 28, 1995 Tenth Congress
Blank Photo.png Neptali Gonzales
(second time)
July 24, 1995–August 28, 1995
15 Ernesto Maceda.jpg Ernesto Maceda Nationalist People's Coalition October 10, 1996–January 26, 1998
Blank Photo.png Neptali Gonzales
(third time)
Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino January 26, 1998–June 30, 1998
16 Blank Photo.png Marcelo Fernan July 27, 1998–June 28, 1999 Eleventh Congress
17 Blas Ople 2.jpg Blas Ople Laban ng Makabayang Masang Pilipino June 29, 1999–July 12, 2000
18 JPPFL Sen. Franklin Drilon (cropped).jpg Franklin Drilon July 12, 2000–November 13, 2000
19 Nene Pimentel at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani 2018 Honoring of Martyrs and Heroes.jpg Aquilino Pimentel Jr. Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan November 13, 2000–June 30, 2001
JPPFL Sen. Franklin Drilon (cropped).jpg Franklin Drilon
(second time)
Independent July 23, 2001–November 24, 2003 Twelfth Congress
Liberal November 24, 2003–June 30, 2004
July 24, 2004–July 24, 2006 Thirteenth Congress
20 Manny Villar T'nalak Festival 2009.jpg Manuel Villar Nacionalista July 24, 2006–June 30, 2007
July 23, 2007–November 17, 2008 Fourteenth Congress
21 Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.jpg Juan Ponce Enrile Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino November 17, 2008–June 30, 2010
July 26, 2010 June 5, 2013 Fifteenth Congress
JPPFL Sen. Franklin Drilon (cropped).jpg Franklin Drilon
(third time)
Liberal July 22, 2013–June 30, 2016 Sixteenth Congress
22 Koko Pimentel meets Korean Ambassador Kim Jae-shin (cropped).jpg Koko Pimentel Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan July 25, 2016–May 21, 2018 Seventeenth Congress
23 Sen. Pres Vicente Sotto (cropped).jpg Tito Sotto Nationalist People's Coalition May 21, 2018–present


Living former Senate Presidents[edit]

Currently there are five living former Senate Presidents:

Legend: Boldface is still incumbent senator.



  1. ^ "Biography of Senate President Quezon". Senate of the Philippines. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  2. ^ "The Legislative Branch: Commonwealth of the Philippines, 1935 – 1946". Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  3. ^ "Biography of Senate President Roxas". Senate of the Philippines. Retrieved February 8, 2019.