By Ben Rosario
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Monday congratulated newly-installed Senate President Vicente Sotto III for his new role in Congress, saying that the House of Representatives wishes him luck.
Alvarez is convinced that the cooperation between the Senate and the House of Representatives will remain strong with Sotto heading the former.
“Sana mas gumanda pa iyong takbo ng passage ng mga legislation,” said Alvarez during a press conference today.
Sotto is a member of the Nationalist People’s Coalition but is also a member of the Malacañang-allied majority in the Senate.
He replaced resigned Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III who is president of PDP-Laban, that counts President Rodrigo Duterte and Alvarez among its key leaders.
Alvarez has aired criticisms of the Senate under Pimentel for its failure to pass legislative measures that have already been approved by congressmen.
Calling the Senate the “slow chamber”, Alvarez appealed to senators to work harder and pass vital measures that are included in the Duterte administraiton’s legislative agenda.
The House leader, however, stressed that his criticisms are not personal, stressing that he remained a strong supporter of Pimentel, being the president of their political party.
“We are friends. For me, this is just work. All this is just work,” said Alvarez, who is the secretary general of the ruling PDP-Laban.
Among the bills still pending in the Senate are the restoration of the death penalty and the divorce proposal. Both bills have been strongly opposed by the Catholic church of which Sotto is a faithful member.