Senators kid Bato, 'require' him to attend physical session

By Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Life may soon be "difficult" for Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa who will be leaving the comfort of his home to attend the Senate's session next week.

Senator Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa (Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa / Facebook page / MANILA BULLETIN) Senator Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa
(Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa / Facebook page / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Senators on Wednesday (May 26) teased Dela Rosa by asking him to physically attend their session on Monday (June 1).

"There is a directive that's being ordered by Sen. Lacson, Tolentino, Gatchalian, and myself. We are hereby directing Senator Bato dela Rosa to attend the session on Monday physically because he is becoming very popular in social media," Senate President Vicente Sotto III said at the beginning of their hybrid session.

The four senators were present in the Senate's plenary hall while their colleagues attend the session thru teleconference. The lawmakers online, including Dela Rosa, were seen grinning at Sotto's jest.

"Tama 'yon, Mr President, para 'yong statement niya pagkatapos will be 'Mahirap na ang buhay', kasi hanggang alas-10 nandiyan sa Senado (That's right, Mr. President, so that his statement afterwards will be 'Life is difficult', because he will be forced to stay in the Senate until 10 p.m.)" said Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, poking fun at Dela Rosa.

Dela Rosa said he will comply with the so-called "directive."

The former police and correctional chief earlier drew flak from netizens after joking "Sarap ng buhay (life is good)!" when their session was suspended early on Tuesday (May 26).

"Sarap ng buhay, sarap ng buhay (Life is good, life is good)! Ganito na lang tayo palagi, ha (Let's always work like this, okay)?" a laughing Dela Rosa was recorded saying in the live feed of their session.

But netizens found the remarks insensitive, given the plight of people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He later explained his statement: "Kaya nasabi kong ang sarap nang buhay kasi mas mabilis ang talakayan ng bills kapag naka-Webex kami at mas maaga matapos ang session (I said that life is good because our discussions of bills are much faster with Webex and our sessions end early)."

Early this month, the Senate adopted a resolution allowing its members to conduct hybrid sessions in the light of the persisting COVID-19 outbreak and the community quarantine imposed to curb it.

Three senators were infected and recently recovered from COVID-19.