Minority senators will also get committee chairmanships, says Sotto
MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III on Saturday said members of the minority bloc would not be left out and would secure committee chairmanships.
Sotto made the assurance in an interview aired over AM radio station DWIZ after Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon decried the scheme of stripping opposition senators of their committee chairmanships.
Sotto said he would still have to talk to Drilon about the matter.
“Yun nga yung isang pakikipag-usapan ko sa kanya eh. Kung meron mabigat na requests doon sa dalawang committees, tatlo yung committees na hawak nila. Eh yung dalawa parang merong humihiling, ano… So tignan natin kung may magandang kapalit. Baka pumayag naman sila, di magkaroon ng problema. Tignan natin,” Sotto said.
[That’s one of the things I will talk to him about. If there are serious requests for two committees. They head three committees. Someone wants to head the two committees. So let’s see if we can replace those with other committees. Maybe they would agree. So we won’t have a problem. Let’s see.
“Tignan din natin, baka naman pati yung [senador na] makakausap ko [sabihin]: ‘Wag na. Hayaan mo na sa kanila ‘yun,’ Di ba? Okay din yun,” he added.
Sotto was referring to returning Sen. Pia Cayetano whom he said had not spoken to yet about the committee chairmanships.
[Let’s see also the senator I will talk to will say: Never mind. Just let them have it. It’s possible, right? So that will be OK.]
Incoming Sen. Imee Marcos was reportedly eyeing the chairmanship of the Committee on Social Welfare and Rural Development, which Sen. Leila De Lima currently chairs.
Meanwhile, returning Cayetano wants the Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality, which Sen. Risa Hontiveros heads.
Asked if he might offer minority bloc members other committee chairmanships, Sotto said: “Oo, sigurado yun. Ayoko yung… Siyam na Senate Presidents yung pinagsilbihan ko. Dun sa siyam na Senate Presidents, may dalawang Senate Presidents dun na ayaw bigyan ang minority — kahit ano. Di ko na lang sasabihin kung sino. Di ako ganun,” he added.
[Yes, that’s for sure. I don’t want… I served under nine Senate President. Of the nine Senate Presidents, two Senate Presidents refused to give chairmanships to the minority — none whatsoever. I won’t say who they are. But I’m not like them.]
Sotto said that he and fellow senators would elect new committee chairpersons for the 18th Congress on July 23.
(Editor: Alexander T. Magno)
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