Press Release
February 17, 2020

Transcript of Interview of Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III


SP Sotto: Ihehear yung committee niya, pwede yun. The issue that Sen. Lacson is apprehensive about, the issue on sub judice, because of the quo-warranto, might not be a problem as long as it's in aid of legislation. Ngayon, kung si Grace, gustong maghearing, yung resolution niya to look into the allegations against ABS CBN, it's part of the mandate of her committee, okay lang yun. It does not have anything to do with the franchise, approval or disapproval.

Q: (Unclear) about the franchise?

SP Sotto: Hindi ko alam yan.

Q: Franchise na mismo.

SP Sotto: Franchise na mismo? Eh kung wala pang bill sa amin eh.

Q: (Unclear) there are instances na nauuna ang Senate, mga tax measures, franchise...

SP Sotto: Tax measures always emanate from the House.

Q: Like the CTRP daw?

SP Sotto: To be honest about it, I have to look into that. I cannot agree or disagree, but alam ko basta't a bill of local application must emanate from the House. Pwedeng maghearing yun pero hearing lang yan, pero it's...

Q: Walang committee report pero (unclear).

SP Sotto: mas mabuti pa, ako ang suggestion ko, pag ako ang tatanungin, yung resolution niya ang ihearing. What is the franchise that she will be hearing, if there is no franchise bill to us? Merong nagfile, pero it does not have any legal stand at the moment until it comes from the House.

Q: Yung binabanggit po ni Senator Grace na pwedeng simultaneous like in other...

SP Sotto: If you will recall, di ba yung akin, nagfile ako ng bill for the franchise of ABS-CBN and then I withdrew? Winithdraw ko yun. Hintayin na lang dapat yung ano...

Q: Yung joint resolution ni Sen. Drilon? Giving a special permit extending until 2022?

SP Sotto: NTC yun.

Q: Pero joint resolution yun, is that necessary?

SP Sotto: Pwede, that is possible.

Q: Sa VFA po, may (unclear) na po yung filing?

SP Sotto: Oo, inaayos na yung wording because I would (unclear) a simple petition asking the Supreme Court to interpret the Constitution on whether it should pass the Senate or not, when an agreement or a treaty is abrogated.

Q: How many senators will you have?

SP Sotto: Petitioner pa lang kami. The petitioners will be myself, Sen. Lacson, Sen. Drilon, Sen. Tatad and Sen. Biazon. Sen. Tatad and Sen. Biazon were the sponsors of the VFA in the 11th Congress and we have discussed it already.

Q: Are there other senators who will join you?

SP Sotto: Siguro. I hope so.

Q: Macocover yung VFA kung ganoon ka-general yung petition?

SP Sotto: Oo. Particularly, yung VFA nga ang tinatanong namin, (unclear) kasi Executive agreement.

Q: (Unclear) sa Executive branch?

SP Sotto: Hindi naman. Pagka finile namin petition for (unclear), yun ang sinasabi mong head-to-head. Hindi naman yun ang finafile namin. Ang finafile namin is for the Senate to assert its right.

Q: This will not lead to a Constitutional crisis?

SP Sotto: I don't think so.

Q: It will not result to a shaky leadership of yours?

SP Sotto: I don't think so, but whatever it is, leadership ang paguusapan, okay lang yun, walang problema sa akin yun.

Q: Sa principle?

SP Sotto: Oo.

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