Senate President Vicente Sotto III defended the decision of the majority of the senators to adopt a resolution asking the Supreme Court to clarify their role in the termination of treaties.
In an interview, Sotto said that it’s better for the Senate to close down if they’re just going to follow the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte who led the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).
“Makikita nila na ang Senado, hindi laging sunud-sunuran sa Presidente…. Otherwise, mag-unicameral na lang tayo. Alisin na natin yung Senado kung gusto ninyo lahat ng sasabihin ng Presidente puwede,” Sotto said in a statement.
Sotto is responding to Senator Ronald Dela Rosa’s complaint about some allies of President Duterte in the Senate who voted in the said resolution.
According to the Sotto, Dela Rosa needs to learn more about the environment of the Senate
“Minsan kasi if you’re a fledgling senator, you need more time to get the ins and outs. Hindi nase-seminar ‘yun. Mas mabilis lang matutunan ‘yun kung galing ka sa local legislative body,” Sotto told reporters.
“Baka lang hindi pa nila nafi-feel ‘yung mga kagawian sa Senado. Hindi porke majority ka, all the time, lahat ng gusto mo, mananalo,” he added.
He suggested that they really need to convince their colleagues if they wanted to see a decision that favorable on them.
“This is the Senate. We are open to free debate. Kumbinsihin mo ‘yung mga kasamahan mo. Magdebate tayo. Hindi puwedeng bulung-bulungan tayo tapos atsaka tayo boboto. That thinking perhaps is not of an independent Senate,” he said.
Sotto is one of the Senators who voted ‘yes’ in the resolution, the others are Franklin Drilon, Francis Pangilinan, Risa Hontiveros, Panfilo Lacson, Miguel Zubiri, Joel Villanueva, Sonny Angara, Nancy Binay, Richard Gordon, Ralph Recto, and Lito Lapid.
Meanwhile, there are seven senators who abstained, they are Dela Rosa, Christopher Go, Francis Tolentino, Cynthia Villar, Koko Pimentel and Ramon Revilla, Jr.