Sotto chides Roque’s ‘war-like’ remark: You expect us to treat resource persons with TLC?
MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III assailed presidential spokesman Harry Roque’s remark that some senators were “war-like” during Senate hearings on the government’s vaccination program.
“I wonder if Secretary Roque watched the hearing for 9 hours. Tell me when what time and who was war-like or even was shouting to any of the resource persons. Imbento!” Sotto told reporters on Wednesday.
“I painstakingly stayed for the entire duration and I do not recall any senator to be war-like. Perhaps argumentative but not warlike. Why? Does he expect us to treat our resource persons with tender loving care?” he added.
Sotto was asked to react to Roque’s earlier interview where the Palace spokesperson quoted President Rodrigo Duterte’s supposed observation on how senators conducted the hearings.
The Senate has so far conducted two hearings on the issue and it is set to hold another hearing this Friday.
Roque said the President has advised vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. to continue his participation in the proceedings and to leave when the senators become “abusive.”
“So Secretary Galvez and Secretary Duque, if the Senate will have a hearing this Friday, will be there but with the instruction that if anyone becomes verbally abusive to them, they have the license to stand up and leave,” Roque said.
Then Roque added: “He (Duterte) could not understand why the demeanor of some senators was apparently bellicose-like, they were war-like. Of course, there was like already an attitude as if there was corruption going on when there was fact-finding, in fact.”
But Sotto said he does not expect anything “untoward” in their next hearing “considering we are all for the greater benefit of the people.”
“As I said, we favor a vaccine that is correctly priced. I’m sure the President expects that too,” the Senate leader added.
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