Senate President Sotto still enjoys support of colleagues in 18th Congress

Maris Federez   •   May 31, 2019   •   1988

Senate President Vicente Sotto III

With the opening of Congress on July 22, new faces in the Senate and the House of Representatives will have their mettle tested in the world of politics.

Neophyte senators Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, Christopher “Bong” Go, Imee Marcos and Francis Tolentino, who form part of the Hugpong ng Pagbabago-PDP bloc, are ready to set foot in the Senate.

Amid rumors of division in the Senate on committee chairmanship, Senator Cynthia Villar’s name has been floating to be the bloc’s bet for Senate Presidency.

Majority of the incumbent senators, however, have signified their support to the current leadership of Senate President Vicente Sotto III.

 “I think Sen. Sotto will keep the Senate presidency,” said Senator Richard Gordon.

In a text message, Senator-elect Bong Go, stressed that he doesn’t know of any move that is pushing anyone in the Senate leadership, particularly that of Senator Villar.

Even Senator Villar, herself, said that she is not interested to become the Senate president.

Senate President Sotto, on the other hand, stated that even the mentioned incoming senators have also expressed their support to him.

He admitted that the support of his colleagues in the Senate is very crucial in his leadership.

“The Senate presidency is always at the pleasure of the members of the majority,” he added.

Other names floating to possibly replace Senator Sotto in the Senate leadership are that of Senators Panfilo Lacson and Franklin Drilon. (with reports from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

Duterte in good health, busy with paperwork — Go

Robie de Guzman   •   April 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is in good health condition and busy with paperwork, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said, dispelling rumors that the president suffered a mild stroke.

In a post on Facebook on Wednesday night, Go shared photos of him with Duterte to dismiss rumors circulating on social media about the president’s health and whereabouts.

“Sa mga may masasamang hangarin, wag muna kayo mag celebrate!! Nandito lang si Tatay Digong. Tambak ang trabaho,” said Go, a former long-time aide of Duterte.

Sa mga may masasamang Hangarin, Wag muna kayo mag celebrate!! Nandito lang si Tatay Digong. Tambak ang trabaho. “Hindi…

Posted by Christopher Bong Go on Wednesday, April 7, 2021

“Hindi ito ang panahon ng pagsisisihan kundi panahon ng Pagtutulungan. Suot ko damit kong dilaw pero DU30 yan!!!” Go said, referring to the term “yellow,” which is associated with the Liberal Party.

“Sana tulungan na lang natin ang ating mahal na Pangulo para malagpasan natin ang crisis na ito bilang nagkaka-isang mamamayang Pilipino. Salamat po,” he added.

Go’s post followed rumors claiming that Duterte’s public address was canceled this week because he suffered a mild stroke.

The senator earlier disclosed that Duterte’s usual “Talk to the People” was postponed after some members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) caught COVID-19.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the public speech was rescheduled because the “physical safety of the President remains our utmost concern.”

“In addition, the preparation for the Talk of the People address entails a number of staff complement and we also take due consideration of their well-being,” Roque added.
PSG Commander Jesus Durante III earlier confirmed that a number of his members were infected with COVID-19. Out of 160 members, only 45 cases remain active.

He, however, assured that these guards are not closely detailed with the president and that they are stationed around Malacañang grounds, making their exposure to possible COVID-19 cases inevitable. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Senate on lockdown after staff tests positive for COVID-19

Marje Pelayo   •   March 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate of the Philippines will be under “total lockdown” on Tuesday, March 16, to give way to sanitation and disinfection of premises after a staff tested positive for COVID-19.

A personnel from the Legislative Bills and Index Service was confirmed positive for coronavirus on Monday, March 15.

“The entire Bills and Index (Service) is now quarantined. And so with that, we cannot make any amendments, any other bills to take up until the full sanitation is done,” said Senate President Vicente Sotto III.

Sotto assured that none of the senators were exposed to the infected employee.

He added that only virtual hearings will be allowed on Tuesday while on-site sessions will resume on Wednesday (March 17).

Senator Richard Gordon offered the services of the Philippine Red Cross in case the Senate agrees to conduct a saliva-based COVID-19 testing.

Three employees of the Senate’s in-house catering service had also recently tested positive for COVID-19.

It prompted the Senate president to cut short the session time to until 6:00 p.m. as they could not compromise the schedule of deliberations given the load of proposed measures that they have to address.

The 18th Congress is set to suspend sessions for the 2nd regular session from  March 27 to May 16. MNP (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

Bong Go ‘not interested’ in running for president, says Duterte was joking

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Senator Christopher ‘Bong’ Go has clarified he has no interest in joining in the 2022 presidential elections.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday (March 11) revealed Go has interest in becoming president, which Go denied on Friday (March 12).

Itong si Senator Bong Go pababa kami ng eroplano sabi niya sir may hingi sana ako sayo ng pabor. Sabi ko ano? Sabi niya, medyo it leaves a bad taste malayo pa pero ikaw nalang ang magsabi sa kanila. Sabihin ko ang totoo, isang bagay lang ang sasabihin daw sa inyo— gusto niya maging presidente (When we are about to disembark the plane, he asked me for a favor. I asked what it is and he said, ‘it leaves a bad taste and it is still way down the road but I want you to tell them”. I will tell you the truth, I will say only one thing—he wants to be president),Duterte said.

Go, on Friday, clarified that the President only said that in jest and added he is content in serving as a Senator.

Sabi ko (I said) I am not interested to run for higher office. Joke lang po iyon ni Presidente. Siya lang po ang nanunukso. Siya lang po ang nag-uudyok (The President was just joking. He was the one urging [me]),Go said.

He also appealed to his co-parties in the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) not to include him in politics and only choose him as the last option.

Kung wala na kayong makita ako nalang po ang pinakahuli. Mauna na sila huwag niyo na po akong isali sa usapang politikal (If you cannot find someone, I can be the last option. Let others go first and do not me include in politics),” he said. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

 

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