Sotto re-elected Senate President

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As expected, Senate President Vicente  “Tito” Sotto III retained his post when the Senate opened its first regular session of the 18th Congress on  Monday.

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto temporarily served as the presiding officer to pave the way for the election of the Senate leader.

It was Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, who nominated Sotto as Senate president, and was seconded by Senator Panfilo Lacson.

Returning Senator Pia Cayetano, in behalf of   Recto and the Nacionalista Party (NP), also nominated Sotto.

No other candidate for the post was nominated, which prompted Recto to call for a viva voce voting.

Three opposition senators — Franklin Drilon, Francis Pangilinan and Risa Hontiveros, abstained.

“Sen. Sotto’s legislative career speaks for itself, so I will say that on a more personal level, I believe he is the best man for this job,” Zubiri said.

He also described the Senate leader as a “great mentor, generous with his wealth of knowledge and experience.”

“He is a man of great intellect, but also a man of great humor, knowing just how to break tension, form camaraderie, and keep a productive atmosphere on the floor. He is an accomplished artist with an intimate line of connection to the hearts of the Filipino people,”  Zubiri said.

“Sen. Vicente C. Sotto III is a workhorse, an institution in the Senate, a man of the people. And, I hope you all agree with me, he is the Senate President we need for this Congress,” he added.

After the election, Sotto immediately took his oath, administered by Lacson.

Even before the adjournment of the 17th Congress in June, the Senate adopted a resolution, expressing support for Sotto’s continued leadership in the upper chamber.

The resolution was signed by majority of senators, including three, whose terms have already expired last June 30.

Neophyte Senator Imee Marcos’ earlier disclosed that someone had been lobbying for  Senator Cynthia Villar “to step in.”

“So sa ngayon, it’s clearly Senate President  (Vicente “Tito”) Sotto although I’ve heard sabi sina Francis Tolentino daw there’s some kind of move to push Senator Cynthia…”  Marcos said in an interview over ABS-CBN  News Channel  on May 30, 2019.

But Villar, wife of former Senate President Manny Villar and president of NP, quickly dismissed such speculations.

Aside  from  Sotto, other officials of  the Senate also  retained their posts — Recto  as Senate President Pro Tempore,   Zubiri as chairman of the Senate committee on rules and  Senator Franklin Drilon as  Minority Leader.

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