Sotto leaves to his colleagues if they would allow him to remain as senate president for the 18th Congress

By Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said he leaves it up to his colleagues if they would allow him to retain his post in the 18th Congress, but would be thankful if they should they decide so.

Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III gestures after elected as a newly Senate President at Senate Building in Pasay city, May 21,2018.(Czar Dancel) Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III

"It's the Senate who decides who their leader is. I only serve at the pleasure of senators. If there will be a resolution, supporting my senate presidency, then I’ll be very thankful," Sotto said Friday.

Sotto issued the statement after incumbent senators signified plans to sign a draft resolution showing their vote of confidence in the current Senate leadership.

Neophyte senators were reported to have intentions to replace him amid conflicts over committee chairmanships.

"We would like to continue what the Senate has achieved in the last three years. The Senate has been independent, balanced, and transparent. It is the only Senate that has reached a very high approval and trust rating. This is from the Senate of the 8th Congress, up to the present," Sotto said

"I’ll be very happy, indebted to my colleagues if they continue to give me their trust and confidence," he added.

Senator Nancy Binay, meanwhile, reiterated her support for Sotto. She said she will also sign the draft resolution retaining his leadership.

She likewise expressed dismay over the apparent power play ahead of the opening of the next Congress.

"Nakalulungkot lang na our time is being consumed by political persuasions, instead of each one of us committing to support the Senate's legislative agenda in the coming Congress. We are supposed to work together, put some work in the Senate, and push for advocacies that matter to the people--regardless of political affiliations," she said in her statement.

Long-time Senators Franklin Drilon, Panfilo Lacson, and Richard Gordon earlier advised the neophyte senators to respect the Upper Chamber's traditions.