Press Release
July 22, 2019

Transcript of Interview of Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III

Q: (Unclear)

SP Sotto: The trust and confidence of our countrymen were given to the 17th Congress Senate and so we would like to continue with that legacy.

Q: Ano yung mga magiging priority bills ninyo?

SP Sotto: More or less the amendments to the Human Security Act which eventually be called the Anti-Terrorism Act is going to be a priority, and then the amendments also to the Public Service Act and the Foreign Investments Act. These were some of the bills that I know were left from the 17th Congress that we wanted to prioritize, but for lack of time.

Q: This afternoon, the President will be having the SONA. What will your expectations be?

SP Sotto: We expect him to ask Congress to pass some of the bills that were not taken up during the last Congress, and that he will seek the support of Congress again so that programs, particularly the Build-Build-Build Program will continue and that the other programs will be supported.

Q: Will the death penalty be a priority bill?

SP Sotto: I really can't tell. Perhaps, it is a priority to debate on it. I would rather say that instead of saying that it is a priority measure kasi it is one issue that is very divisive. So we'd like to perhaps start debate on it. I filed a bill on that, particularly high level drug trafficking, nut we have two new Senators who have filed a bill encompassing all heinous crimes, so I hope it will be a healthy debate.

Q: Expected na ma-tackle pag open ng session?

SP Sotto: Depende sa mga chairmen.

Q: Ano ang chance na mapasa (unclear) sa House?

SP Sotto: You are asking for my personal opinion, I am not speaking for the Senate in this case. If it will be confined to high-level drug trafficking, it stands a better chance of passage.

Q: Under your leadership, paano ninyo (unclear) yung 17th Congress sa 18th Congress?

SP Sotto: I will reiterate what we promised during the May elections, when I was elected Senate President, that we will be cooperative but independent, balanced, and sincere.

Q: How will you rate the President on his accomplishments?

SP Sotto: Based on the list that I saw, that were accomplished, I give him a 9 especially in the issue of illegal drugs.

Q: How do you feel na meron kayong tatlong tatlong taon ulit sa Senate?

SP Sotto: Are you sure? Mahirap magsalita ng tapos. Hindi naman, siguro okay naman, we can look forward to that. I think we will look forward to the next three years because anyway I will be ending my term in 2022, so it is not within my radar. We just work one day at a time.

Q: Parang naka-legacy mode na since last three years?

SP Sotto: Siguro parang ganun, because as I said, I would like to retain, if not surpass, the trust and confidence given by our countrymen to the 17th Congress Senate. Hopefully in the 18th Congress we will be able to maintain it.

Q: Ano ang reason ng leadership bakit nabigay kay Senator Imee yung Electoral Reforms?

SP Sotto: We thought about it and the explanation is that there is no conflict of interest because the committee does not have anything to do with the present protest. It is forward looking.

Q: (Unclear)

SP Sotto: Wala, si Senator Lacson ang gusto nga niya ipamigay lahat ng committee niya, but we have to force him to retain the committee of defense.

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