No complaints over Sotto's leadership of Senate, colleagues say
Sen. Panfilo Lacson said it would be better if Sen. Tito Sotto would remain as Senate president.
The STAR/Mong Pintolo

No complaints over Sotto's leadership of Senate, colleagues say

( - May 30, 2019 - 5:33pm

MANILA, Philippines — Amid talks of change in leadership in the Senate, some senior senators expressed support for Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III.

Senator-elect Imee Marcos, daughter of ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos, claims there is a move to push Sen. Cynthia Villar as the next Senate president and has hinted that she would "stick to" Villar, a party-mate whom she said has always been good to her.

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said he has not heard of any move to push for Villar as the new head of the upper chamber.

"Sen. Villar has said she is not interested. (Senate President) Sotto is doing very well. The Senate has been productive and has high approval ratings," Recto said.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson also said it would be better if Sotto would remain as Senate president.

According to Lacson, every senator in the present Congress approves of Sotto's leadership.

"I have yet to hear a contrary opinion about his leadership. Even the minority bloc supports his leadership," Lacson said.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said earlier this month that Sotto "has been treating us fairly and has given us the appropriate respect as members of the minority."

Lacson: Simple numbers 

Lacson, however, explained that senators could push for any colleague to be the next Senate President for any motive, such as posturing for committee chairmanships.

"It's quite simple though. Thirteen out of 24 senators can install a Senate president. Anybody who has that number automatically becomes [Senate president]. If not, they can dream on. It's free," Lacson said.

Villar, who topped the senatorial race in the 2019 midterm elections, said she would only consider the Senate presidency if she gets called for a meeting on the matter.

"Depende. Everything — you have to think about when it comes, 'di ba? It doesn't follow that you like it but you have to give it a thought," Villar said.

Aside from talks on a possible change in leadership in the Senate, Sotto earlier admitted that committee chairmanships in the chamber might be a potential source of problems as they prepare for the 18th Congress.

According to Sotto, there are some committees that two or three senators want to take over.

"The committee on education, the committee on justice, blue ribbon, public services, those four committees," Sotto told ANC when asked about the "problematic" committees.

The Senate president said they would have to reach a consensus or the "art of compromise" in settling the committee chairmanships. — Patricia Lourdes Viray

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