Sotto vows to defend Senate against unfair criticisms
Newly elected Senate President Vicente “Tito“ Sotto III on Monday vowed to defend the Senate from attacks, saying he would not allow the institution to be unfairly criticized by anyone.
“They know me. I will not allow the Senate to be degraded or criticized unfairly by anybody,” Sotto said told reporters.
Asked if he was prepared to stand up against House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, who had criticized the Senate under the leadership of Sen. Aqulino Pimentel III, Sotto only said: “Anybody.”
“As long as we know that it’s fair, you can criticize us fairly. No problem,” he said in a mix of Filipino and English. “But when it‘s already below the belt, we can’t allow that. We have to react.”
This is contrast with Pimentel’s leadership as observed by his fellow senators.
In a radio interview on Sunday, Minority Leader Franklin Drilon observed that the Pimentel was not being assertive at times. On the other hand, Drilon said he believed the Senate would be more assertive under with Sotto at the helm.
On Monday, Alvarez on Monday said he hoped that Sotto’s Senate would act swiftly on the passage of priority bills.
Alvarez previously described the Senate as a “slow chamber” and said its leaders should be “a bit more active so they can pass more bills.” /atm
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