Catholic priest welcomes Sotto’s election as Senate president

Published May 22, 2018, 1:55 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Leslie Ann Aquino

The election of Sen.Vicente Sotto III as Senate President is a welcome news for a Catholic priest.

Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III take an oath after elected as a newly Senate President at Senate Building in Pasay city, May 21,2018.(Czar Dancel)
Senator Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto takes his oath as the new Senate President. (Czar Dancel/Manila Bulletin file photo)

Father Melvin Castro, former executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (CBCP), said he welcomed the news as Sotto is generally “pro-life” despite his position on death penalty.

“I personally am glad that Sen. Tito Sotto was elected Senate president,” he said in an interview.

“Except for that particular issue on the death penalty, he is generally pro-life,” added Castro.

The former CBCP official also believes that the divorce and the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Equality bill won’t pass under Sotto.

“I believe divorce and the SOGIE bills would not prosper under his term,” Castro said.

Sotto earlier signified support for death penalty but only for “high-level” drug traffickers.

It was in May last year when then CBCP president Lingayen Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas called on the country’s senators to be “heroes of life” by rejecting death penalty.

He said it’s saddening that lawmakers at the Lower House missed the opportunity to be heroes when they passed on third and final reading House Bill 4727.

“Our congressmen lost a great chance to be heroes when they voted to restore the death penalty,” Villegas said that time.

Sotto yesterday took over the leadership of the Senate, succeeding Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel.