Press Release
March 2, 2020

Transcript of Interview of Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III

On the abrogation of the VFA

SP Sotto: ...Constitution on the issue of abrogation.

Q: Ano ito, joint or concurrent resolution?

SP Sotto: It's a resolution expressing the sense of the Senate. If it is approved tonight, and hopefully it will, we will incorporate it in the petition that we will be filing, most probably tomorrow, if we (unclear) to file the petition tonight.

Q: Why is there a need to file a new resolution? Bakit hindi na lang yung kay Senator Drilon?

SP Sotto: Medyo merong mga issues kasi yung committee on foreign relations about the contents of the (unclear). Very specific kasi yung issues kasi doon concerning the ICC (unclear) statute so medyo the chairman of the foreign relations committee was still trying to get the pulse of his members. Therefore, I talked to him today, this morning actually, together with Senator Lacson, sinabi ko sa kanya, kung ganoon, medyo matatagalan kayo, magfifile na ako ng resolution today to finally ask the Supreme Court to vote. Sabi niya pagusapan daw namin ngayon. Hindi kailangan ng committee report because my resolution will be referred to the committee on rules and the committee on rules is empowered to call into plenary right away any resolution, bill or whatever is filed in its jurisdiction.

Q: May commitment na to adopt yung chamber?

SP Sotto: We will find out later, I cannot predict. I will sponsor it personally.

Q: Yung resolution ninyo, generic siya?

SP Sotto: Yes, generic.

Q: Walang laman na ICC...?

SP Sotto: Wala, generic lang.

Q: For future policy?

SP Sotto: Yes, it simply wants to ask the Supreme Court to agree or disagree with the assertion of the Senate that any abrogation, when we are empowered to ratify, there is no treaty without the ratification of the Senate. Therefore, an abrogation, we believe, majority of us, most of us believe, that it should be also concurred in by the Senate.

Q: If the resolution is passed, it will be given more weight by the Supreme Court?

SP Sotto: I hope so. I think so.

Q: (Unclear)

SP Sotto: Yes, it will be attached.

Q: Hindi po ba it's questioning the decision of the President?

SP Sotto: No, not at all.

Q: Pero may ganoong naging concern ba, baka mahurt si Presidente that you had to file a new resolution?

SP Sotto: You better ask the others, I have no idea concerning...

Q: Yung petition, sino ang magiging petitioner? Buong Senate or select people lang?

SP Sotto: If it is approved by the body, then we can use the resolution as part of the petition, then it will be the Senate.

Q: Target pa rin to file this week?

SP Sotto: Hopefully tomorrow, if we can finish it tonight. At the latest, perhaps Wednesday.

Q: Kayo personally ang magfifile?

SP Sotto: Most probably kami personally. I will ask Senator Lacson, Senator Drilon, and whoever would like to join us.

Q: There is this allegation or pronouncement by Senator Gordon about the so-called Chinese workers, na parang may information siya na papunta na siya sa national security issue aside from the usual POGO trafficking?

SP Sotto: I think it is but proper for the committee to look into it, or probably the committee on justice to look into the matter because this might also involve the issue on money laundering.

Q: Do you share the concern (unclear)?

SP Sotto: Of course.

Q: (Unclear) pinababayaan?

SP Sotto: Yes, hindi lang pinababayaan, ano ba ito, nagviviolate ng anti-money laundering laws natin, di ba? Are these funds registered? Are they declared? I don't know.

Q: There is this espionage theory pa...ginagamit daw yung POGO using the law of China?

SP Sotto: Teka muna, masyadong maraming issues pa na hindi natin masiguro kung totoo (unclear).

Q: But it is worth looking into?

SP Sotto: It is all worth looking into. Always. Mabuti na yung tinitingnan natin. So kung balewala naman yun, then we will brush it aside, but if it is true then we must act accordingly.

Q: (Unclear) another group of senators are filing a concurrent resolution for ABS CBN, this time up to June 30, 2022 ang gusto nilang provisional authority, the end of the 18th Congress.

SP Sotto: We can talk about it, I am sure.

Q: Pero kayo, pabor ka ba sa provisional authority?

SP Sotto: I'd rather discuss it with the rest muna before I come up with my (unclear). Delicadeza dictates that I do not react muna.

Q: But there is no discouragement to refer it to the appropriate committee?

SP Sotto: It is going to be referred. It will be referred to the proper committee. Baka sa public services (unclear).

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