Advantages of Tito Sen over Koko Pimentel
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty Josephus Jimenez (The Freeman) - May 24, 2018 - 12:00am

The new Senate President, Vicente Castelo Sotto III, may not be a lawyer and Bar topnotcher like Aquilino Pimentel III, who he replaced. But he has about 20 years experience in the Senate under nine Senate presidents since Neptali Gonzales. He is a team builder, peace maker, consensus-builder, conciliator, mediator, and arbitrator in many intramurals and conflicts inside that august body. He is a scion of our own Cebuano pride, the famous Sotto brothers, Don Vicente Yap Sotto and Don Filemon Y. Sotto, both senators and delegates to the 1934 Constitutional Convention. Tito Sen is not just Eat Bulaga and Iskul Bukol. He has a very distinguished experience as political leader, and his family background is solid.  The former Southern Islands Hospital was named  in honor of his lolo, Don Vicente Sotto, a famed lawyer, legislator, orator and writer.

The strongest advantage of Tito Sen over Koko is that he has a strong and solid family, while Koko had just went through an annulment of his marriage with beauty queen Jewel Lobaton. To me, a good wife like Helen Gamboa, is a vital element in the success of a politician. The children of Tito Sen are well-behaved, no intrigue, no scandal, no broken marriages, and no drugs. Tito Sen is famous for his advocacy against drugs, long before we heard then mayor Digong Duterte running after drug syndicates and cursing them.

Helen Gamboa is the sister of Sharon Cuneta’s mom. That is why Tito Sen is also close to Kiko Pangilinan who is known as Mr Sharon Cuneta. The new senate president is also acceptable to the LP headed by Pangilinan. Senate stalwarts like Franklin Drilon and the rest of the LPs like Bam Aquino respect Tito Sen because he is a man who knows public relations as if he was born inside the ballroom of a gala night. The Sottos from Cebu, noted in the country as lawyers and successful politicians and the Castelos from Nueva Ecija (Tito Sen is cousin of balladeer Anthony Castelo) are respected professionals and entertainment personalities. Tito Sen’s mom was a doctor married to Marcelino, son of the late Don Vicente Sotto.

At first, I did not like Tito Sen being in the Senate because all I knew of him was his antics with Vic and Joey in the defunct comedy show “Iskul Bukol” and in the highly successful “ Eat Bulaga.” But when I studied his background and observed his demeanor and performance, I am convinced he can be a good senator (better perhaps than Eddie Ilarde, Freddie Webb, Robert Jaworski, Ramon Revilla or Lito Lapid). Tito Sen has gained the respect of his peers because he was a quick learner who studied on-the-job under such illustrious mentors as Neptali Gonzales, Marcelo Fernan, Juan Ponce Enrile, Aquilino Pimentel Jr. (Koko’s dad), and Franklin Drion.

Tito Sen has mellowed and sparkled like a polished diamond. Besides, it is about time that somebody with Cebuano blood becomes a star in the Philippine Senate again. Let us all pray for his success. His stint will be good for us, Cebuanos.


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