Sotto willing to endorse all re-electionist senators to maintain Senate unity
MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Vicente Sotto III said on Wednesday that he is willing to endorse all re-electionist candidates to preserve the unity and independence of the Senate.
“Yes, I am supporting all the re-electionist senators simply because you’ve seen the trust and confidence of the people based on the surveys. [Support] has never been this high. This means that it is not only because of the leadership but because of our colleagues,” Sotto told reporters in Filipino before the proclamation rally of Senator Grace Poe in Tondo, Manila.
“It’s better to maintain the independence of the Senate, and that’s been the battlecry before […] Hopefully, in the Senate we can show this unity in the 2019 elections,” he added.
According to the Senate President, he will be present in the campaign sorties of other candidates, just as he was present in Poe’s rally.
“We will support all the re-electionists,” Sotto reiterated, adding that he will join the rallies of those who need him, including Grace Poe.
The Senate President also said that he will attend the launch of the candidacy of Sonny Angara in Aurora on the 19th as well as the launches of Nancy Binay, Cynthia Villar, JV Ejercito.
On whether he would also endorse or attend the events of Minority member Senator Bam Aquino, a re-electionist who runs under the opposition slate Otso Diretso, Sotto said he is open to be featured in Aquino’s own sortie.
“Kung mayroon silang mga kanya-kanyang (sortie), bakit hindi? Lahat ng re-electionist ie-endorse ko (If they have their own sorties, why not? I will endorse all reelectionists),” he replied when pressed by reporters on whether he would attend other sorties.
Out of the 23 senators today, seven are seeking re-election. This includes Poe, Angara, Binay, Villar, Ejercito, Aquino, and Senator Koko Pimentel.
Sotto clarified though that his endorsement does not entail requests for candidates to soften up their stance on issues affecting the administration.
“Wala, wala (None). And I have never, you can ask them, you can ask all the re-electionists, sa mga botohan sa Senado, wala akong natatandaan na ipinakusap ko sa kanila (During voting at the Senate, I don’t recall asking favors from them),” he claimed.
“I’ve been there for almost 21 years, so alam ko ang feeling ng Senador eh. I know the feeling na ayaw na ayaw nila na pinaki-kiusapan ng ayaw nila (I know the feeling of a Senator. I know the feeling that they don’t want to be asked to grant favors),” he added.
Of the seven candidates, only Binay and Poe were not endorsed by a major political party. Angara, Villar, Ejercito, and Pimentel are part of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte’s 13-person line-up for Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), while Aquino is with Otso Diretso. /ee
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