‘Consensus builder’ Sotto says he won’t become next president’s critic
MANILA, Philippines — Vice presidential candidate Senate President Vicente Sotto III said he will not turn into a critic of the next president should they disagree on their programs, adding he is “friends” with the top five presidential candidates in this year’s elections.
“I’m a consensus builder…Perhaps I would be able to enhance the Office of the Vice President by being a consensus builder,” Sotto told the PiliPinas Forum 2022 organized by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) with the the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) aired on Wednesday.
“As a matter of fact, all the presidential candidates now, the top five, are all my friends. They know me, I know them,” he also said.
Sotto is running alongside presidential candidate Senator Panfilo Lacson.
Asked if he would be critical of the next president should a candidate aside from his running mate win, Sotto said: “Hindi, sapagkat una sa lahat, sigurado yung presidente magugustuhan yung programa ko o programa namin na ibibigay sa kanya.”
(No, because first of all, I’m sure the next president will like the program I or we will offer.)
“Kung ayaw niya nun sapagkat hindi sa kanila, o meron silang ibang programa, I can do it on my own,” he added.
(If the next president would not like my programs because they have their own programs, I can do it on my own.)
He pointed to his plans to address the country’s drug problem, stressing the need for a holistic approach.
“For example, I can enhance the holistic approach on the problem of illegal drugs, I don’t need any position to do that, but I can do it with the clout of the Office of the Vice President. A common citizen would have difficulty doing it but with the clout of the Office of the Vice President, ibang klase,” Sotto said.
“I will be able to to the holistic approach that I did before in Quezon City that brought down the drug cases from 54 percent nine percent when I left and went into the legislation to be able to enhance the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, which I did kaya nailagay ko dun yung [that’s why I was able to include a] holistic approach on the problem of illegal drugs,” he added.
Sotto served as vice mayor of Quezon City 1988 to 1992. He also chaired the Dangerous Drugs Board from July 2008 to November 2009.
He said this approach includes enforcement, prosecution—which seeks to address the problem of supply—and prevention.
Rehabilitation, Sotto added, is also an important factor, saying this can address the problem with demand.
“[This] is not being done by this government or the previous governments. I can do it, with or without a position as long as I have the Office of the Vice President, therefore I would be able to do it nationwide,” he said.
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