MANILA, Philippines – Reelected Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III on Monday reminded his colleagues to respect the rights of the resource persons they invite in their inquiries, saying they are primarily legislators and not prosecutors.
“We are not prosecutors, we are not Judges, our hearings had been known to be precursors of high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, and even self-injury. It should not be the case,” Sotto said in his speech after he was reelected through viva voce.
“The constitution expressly provides that the rights of the invitees must be respected,” he added.
However, Sotto was quick to clarify that respecting the rights of resource persons does not mean they will be soft on those lying to them.
“I only mean that our inquiries should really be in aid of legislation, although I also believe that those who lie in our face must stay in our premises or Muntinlupa if they continue to do so. What I am only saying is that we are legislators, primarily,” he said.
Sotto retained his post as Senate President after he was after majority of senators voted for him at the start of the First Regular Session of the 18th Congress on Monday.
Sotto said the Senate will continue to be cooperative but independent and transparent on issues.
The senate leader also outlined some of the priority bills they will deliberate on in the 18th Congress, including the proposal to amend the Human Security Act of 2007 which will be called the Anti-Terrorism Act, the proposed Public Services Act, and the proposed national budget.
Sotto, meanwhile, sees heated debates ahead for the proposed revival of the death penalty. (with details from Nel Maribojoc)
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III has retained his post as Senate President after a majority of senators voted for him at the start of the First Regular Session of the 18th Congress on Monday.
During the opening of the session, lawmakers voted viva-voce to support his continuing leadership in the upper chamber of the Congress.
Viva-voce voting is done where lawmakers will shout aye for their bet.
Also reelected are Senator Ralph Recto as Senate President Pro-tempore, and Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri as Majority Floor Leader.
Minority Leader Franklin Drilon will also continue leading the opposition bloc.
Twenty-two senators were present during the opening of the session; absent were Senator Manny Pacquiao, who he is still in Las Vegas, Nevada after his boxing bout with Keith Thurman, and Senator Leila de Lima, who is detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center.
After the voting, Sotto led the oath-taking of newly-elected Senators Cynthia Villar, Grace Poe, Pia Cayetano, Christopher Lawrence ‘Bong’ Go, Ronald dela Rosa, Sonny Angara, Imee Marcos, Lito Lapid, Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel, Francis Tolentino, Nancy Binay and Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla.
MANILA, Philippines – Capiz Representative Fredenil Castro is considering seeking the Minority Leader post when the 18th Congress opens later this month.
In a statement, Castro said he is seriously studying suggestions by other congressmen for him to take the post “to maintain a credible balance of opinion on all issues” in the House of Representatives.
“I am seriously considering whether I could maintain my balance considering the hairline difference between being a minority member from an opposition. This is because, critical collaboration as distinguished from being destructive is called for,” he said.
Castro said he is open to suggestion and will wait for guidance before he responds to his fellow lawmakers’ call.
The Capiz representative served as Majority leader in the latter part of the 17th Congress, replacing Camarines Sur Representative Rolando Andaya Jr.
Castro’s statement comes after Leyte Representative Martin Romualdez accepted President Rodrigo Duterte’s suggestion for him to take the Majority Leader position instead following the latter’s endorsement of a term-sharing set-up between Congressmen Alan Peter Cayetano and Lord Allan Velasco as House speaker.
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