By Hannah Torregoza
Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III on Monday said the Senate is prepared to work with the House of Representatives led by Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Sotto made the statement after the House is reportedly gearing up for the ouster of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. The House leadership change is supposedly led by President Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter Davao city mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
The Senate leader said he personally does not believe Alvarez’s ouster will affect the passage of priority measures pending in both houses.
“I really don’t think so. Ang dapat na pamamalakad naming sa gobyerno ay hindi personal,” Sotto told reporters in an interview before the 10 a.m. session.
“Ang pamamalakad ay dapat magkasundo yung Senate President at Speaker of the House, no matter who he or she is. Ganoon din sa Pangulo, opisina yan eh, the Office of the President or the legislature,” he added.
He added that personal issues ought to be set aside: “So kung may mga pangangailangan ang House at may mga pangangailangan ang Senado, dapat mapagkasunduan o mapagusapan o mapagdebatehan (So if the House has their respective needs and the Senate also has requests, these should be debated upon or discussed and deliberated).”
Sotto said he has no problem working with Arroyo should she be elected the new House leader. He said the former president appointed him to head the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) during her term even though he came from a different political party.
“We were against each other in 2004. But ganyan talaga, as I said, basta ginagawa naming an gaming job description wala naman kaming problema, (As long as we are doing our respective job description we have no problem with that),” Sotto said.
Senator Nancy Binay also expressed readiness to work with the House that would be led by Arroyo.
“Kami naman ay willing to work with anybody basta makakatulong na maiangat ang buhay ng ating mga kababayan (All of us are willing to work with anybody, as long as it would help raise the quality of life of our people),” Binay told reporters in a separate interview.
Binay’s father, the former Makati City mayor, was an opposition leader when Arroyo was president.