Latest Stories

Tito Sotto does an Enrile, quits Senate post, too


SENATE PRESIDENT FOR A DAY That’s the title of Sen. Jinggoy Estrada a day after Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile gave up the position. RAFFY LERMA

Saying he was weary, Sen. Vicente Sotto III resigned as Senate majority leader on Thursday, the last session day of the 15th Congress, in solidarity with Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile who stepped down on Wednesday as Senate President.

“I don’t think I can top the time and effort, blood and sweat that I put in the last three years into the next three years. So let’s leave it at that. As they say, quit while you’re ahead. It’s better that way,” Sotto told reporters.

Enrile resigned on Wednesday after castigating colleagues who questioned the propriety of his yearend release of millions of pesos for maintenance and other operating expenses for selected senators’ offices and P250,000 per senator supposedly as Christmas gifts.

Sotto said he wanted to focus on being with the minority and vowed that he would be diligent in scrutinizing administration measures in the

16th Congress.

“There are many factors. First off, I’m already tired. It’s difficult,” Sotto said.

Asked if Enrile’s resignation contributed to his decision, Sotto said, “Probably, it was also a factor.”

“I’ve lost interest because after three years of giving your all, the leadership was cast in a bad light. So, somehow, we’re all affected,” Sotto said.

Asked if his decision was influenced by some senators who wanted to elect a new Senate President, he said: “No. I was just telling them that they cannot elect a new Senate President. I told them that there were only 14 of us [in the caucus] and that Greg [Sen. Gregorio Honasan] won’t vote for the person they were going to elect.”

A senator needs 13 votes to be elected Senate President.

“Senator [Franklin] Drilon agreed. He said, ‘You know me better than that,’” Sotto said.

Drilon is the presumptive next Senate President when the next Congress convenes on July 22.

‘Macho bloc’

Enrile and Sotto are members of the Senate’s so-called “macho bloc” that held the top leadership positions in the outgoing Senate but face being relegated to the minority when the 16th Congress convenes on July 22.

Their allies in the bloc took over the vacant positions—Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada as Senate President and Honasan as majority leader.

A fifth member, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, is bowing out at the end of his second consecutive six-year term.

Asked why he did not just wait for the 15th Congress to end in the next several weeks, Sotto said, “It’s better this way so I could concentrate on joining the minority.”

“We will be watching the 16th Congress on how they will handle the issues at hand, these leadership issues from before,” he said.

Sotto said the next leadership should look into the alleged hacking of the Senate Public Relations and Information Bureau e-mail account on the eve of the May 13 elections when reporters received a statement, supposedly from Honasan, saying the senator was withdrawing his candidacy.

Honasan promptly denied sending the e-mail through the social media and a formal statement sent to the media.

‘You can do it’

Estrada said on Thursday he would have tried to prevent Enrile from giving up the Senate leadership had he known about it.

“I would have told him, ‘Manong, it might be useless to resign with only two session days to go. We will just fight it out until July 22,” Estrada told reporters. “Perhaps, the man just had enough. He is already 89. I don’t think he deserves that kind of treatment.”

Estrada said he was on the verge of tears when he walked Enrile down to the basement parking lot after the resignation speech.

“I can feel that he was really hurt, angry. He told me, ‘Jinggoy, now that you are acting Senate President, I know you can do it. Do your job and I will still be here to guide you,’” Estrada quoted Enrile as telling him.

“Until now, his critics have yet to stop that’s why he deemed it best that he just resign from his post so that they could stop talking. In fact, he dared all the senators to open their books and divulge to the public how they were spending their funds and those of their committees,” he said.

Estrada said he would not join the new majority. “Time and again, I have been saying that. Wherever Manong Johnny goes, I will go with him. When he goes down, I will go down with him.”

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Philippines , Politics , resignation , Senate , Tito Sotto

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  2. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  3. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  4. Massive infra spending set
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  7. Passengers denied chance to escape sinking South Korea ferry
  8. South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  9. Two Popes who would be saints
  10. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  9. Massive infra spending set
  10. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  5. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  6. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  7. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • US teacher fired over comment on black president
  • Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  • Title of new Hillary Clinton book: ‘Hard Choices’
  • Filipinos, Dutch re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  • 14 killed in car bombing in Homs
  • Sports

  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Pacquiao shorts in Bradley fight sold for P1.7M in LA auction
  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Alonso sets the pace in Chinese GP practice
  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Las Vegas ‘Pinoy Pride’ fest hails Filipino heritage
  • Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday
  • Filipina accomplice arrested for fake bills in Malaysia
  • DoH denies Filipino nurse no longer positive for MERS virus
  • WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  • Marketplace