Senate begin first regular sessions for the 18th Congress Monday morning prior to President Rodrigo Duterte's fourth State of the Nation Address.
The STAR/Paolo Romero
Senate begins sessions for 18th Congress
(Philstar.com) - July 22, 2019 - 10:30am

MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Tito Sotto has banged the gavel Monday morning to officially start the first regular session of the Senate.

The first agenda of the Senate for its first regular session for the 18th Congress was the oath-taking of 12 new senators elected during the 2019 midterm elections.

Five reelectionist senators will be starting their second terms — Sens. Cynthia Villar, Grace Poe, Sonny Angara, Koko Pimentel and Nancy Binay.

Sens. Pia Cayetano, Lito Lapid and Bong Revilla will also sit again in the Senate.

New names in the Senate are Bong Go, Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa, Imee Marcos and Francis Tolentino, who have also filed their pet bills as early as July 1.

Sotto retained his seat as Senate president with 22 out of 24 senators present in the first session. Sens. Francis Pangilinan and Risa Hontiveros abstained while the rest of the senators voted in favor of Sotto.

Sen. Leila de Lima, who is detained over drug charges, and Sen. Manny Pacquiao, who had a boxing match last Sunday, were not able to attend the Monday session.

Aside from the election of the Senate president, the senators are also expected to announce priority bills for the 18th Congress. — Patricia Lourdes Viray

18TH CONGRESS DUTERTE SONA 2019 SENATE
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