Press Release
June 21, 2021

Transcript of Zoom interview of Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III

Q: SP yun lang po munang paglipat po ni Mayor Chavit po sa inyo, paano po ang talks doon? Paano po nauwi sa ganoon?

SP Sotto: Hindi siya lumipat, he joined. I do not recall him being a member of any national political party. He is a founder and member of his own local political party in Ilocos Sur. Yun ang pagkakaalam ko. So, I don't recall him being a member of any political party. As a matter of fact, noong 2007, nung tumakbo siya sa Senado alam ko independent yung finile niya. Nevertheless, that's probably beside the point. Basta ang sa akin, he did not transfer, he joined the Nationalist People's Coalition. Siguro mga, I'd say mga 2 months ago, he visited the Senate, kahit merong mga protocols, he followed the protocols. He visited us. He talked to me and Sen. Lacson also. Siya humingi ng appointment sa akin eh para kay Sen. Lacson. I set it up and we talked. It wasn't about politics; it was about something else. I'm not sure now what was it about It was a private thing. And during that time, we talked, there was one instance, recall ha. Ito'y recollection ko lang. One instance that he was asking me anong plano ko. And I said wala pa. Kinokonsulta ko pa yung partido. Ikaw ba yung partido ninyo? Something sabi niya, wala naman siyang national party eh. Aba eh, ka'ko, welcome ka sa NPC kung gusto mo, sabi ko. That was a few months pa. Wala na di na kami nakapagusap. Then, when was this na oath taking niya? Saturday ano? Wednesday evening, he called me, all of a sudden. Sabagay, nagtatawagan naman kami talaga. That Wednesday evening, ang banat niya sa akin, Pare sabi niya, libre ka ba bukas? Sabi ko, hindi ata. Bakit anong meron? Sabi niya, hindi, eh susumpa na ako sa'yo. O talaga? Sabi ko. NPC? Oo, sabi niya. Eh teka di ako pwede bukas sabi ko. Sa Friday sabi ko. Sabi niya hindi, asa Nueva Ecija ako, pagbalik ko. O Saturday sabi ko, Saturday ng umaga para ma-inform ko din yung mga opisyal namin, ng NPC, para mai-greet ka. He agreed. O sige sige, Saturday 9am. Di ko nga alam paano nalaman ni Mav Gonzales eh. Biglang nagpapaalam kung pwede daw pumasok ng Saturday nun eh... (unclear) Anyway, so ayun, he came over, I informed the secretariat of the Nationalist People's Coalition. Dong Mendoza, the secretary general of the House of Representatives was there and Gigi Aggabao, former officers also of the NPC. Later on, Charlie Cojuangco arrived. There were few other members of the NPC that were there. I could not (unclear). As I said, he's definitely an asset to the political party.

Q: Yun po yung next question, SP. Bilang siya ay, tama po ba yung sinabi ninyo, League of Municipalities, siya po ang leader po?

SP Sotto: He's the president. Aside from being the Godfather of Ilocos Sur, he is the president of the League of Municipalities. And therefor, he carries a lot of political (unclear). So, joining the NPC, I think he is added luster to our already solid political party.

Q: Gaano kaya kalaki ang tulong niya in terms of doon sa "Norte" Sir? We know naman talagang kilala si Mayor Chavit doon.

SP Sotto: Ah malaking bagay yon. Given the fact that we also have an honorary member in Ilocos Norte, Rudy Fariñas. So, it's very strong for the party, ang entry ni Gov. Singson.

Q: Sir sorry, since hindi po naming siya ma-interview, did he tell you about his plans for 2022, siya po ba ay tatakbo ng mas mataas sa local? Magna-national po ba si Gov. Chavit?

SP Sotto: I doubt it. I think he's running for Governor. That's my sense ha. That did not come from him. He might be thinking of another post but the way I sense it, he's going back as Governor of Ilocos Sur.

Q: SP, how is NPC gearing up? I know ayaw ninyo pang mag-usap about politics since nasa gitna ng pandemya. But SP papalapit na rin po talaga yung filing COCs. I'm sure nag-gegear up na din po, how is NPC preparing?

SP Sotto: We have agreed that I, together with few members of the party, or officers of the party might be going around to get the sense, get the feel. We could not call them for a general meeting very soon because most of the NPC members who are incumbent officials, they're governors, congressmen or mayors, vice mayors, board members, councilors - most of them are busy with their constituency because of the pandemic. We don't want to disturb their work, by asking them to come over to Metro Manila so that they can call for a meeting, a consultative meeting, or a convention if we can call at that. But rather, we might start going around talking to them and find out also how we can help their localities. That's the plan as of now. So andodon pa din kami sa consultation mode.

Q: SP as of hand, this early, to field your own presidential candidate and VP, malamang kayo po, kung didiretso po kayo. Pero Presidential or standard bearer from NPC, may ganoon po bang possibility?

SP Sotto: May possibility, pero pinag-uusapan pa lang. Wala pang malinaw, nothing concrete. I would suppose that if I run for any political position, I would get the support of my entire political party.

Q: Ibig po bang sabihin may makukuha kayo from NPC na Presidential bet or yung thinking of adopting someone from the outside?

SP Sotto: We have not discussed it that way. Wala pa kaming pinag-uusapang ganon. Sa ngayon.

Q: What about, sorry SP to ask ah, what about Sen. Pacquiao? Sinabi ninyo po ilang beses na siyang nakipag-usap sa inyo diba? Is there a possibility po na siya ang i-adopt ninyo in the long run? Lalo't nagkakagulo po sa PDP?

SP Sotto: Well, anything is possible. But if you ask me about Sen. Manny Pacquaio ako naman wala akong planong makipag-halo sa problema ng ibang political party. But I suppose, based on my conversation with other political friends, from the PDP-LABAN, eh big majority of the PDP-LABAN members are supporting Sen. Pacquiao. As far as I know. And that's from Sen. Pimentel down to the local officials that they have. Whether in office or not, I am told that majority supports Manny Pacquiao. I even heard friends from Cebu and political friends from Cebu that they are going to support him. PDP-LABAN yun eh. I don't know if there's going to be a split. And I don't know how many political supporters their vice chairman has. I don't know.

Q: Kamusta po kayo? Yung pagdedesisyon ninyo SP, kayo po ni Sen. Ping? Ilang percent na po kayo?

SP Sotto: Wala pa sigurong percentage na masasabi, kundi we are seriously considering it. I think my consultative meetings, consultations would help a lot. I think that will help a lot. That will give a good pulse.

Q: Tama po ba SP kung saka-sakali pong dumiretso si Sen. Ping doon at lumaban for Presidential race sa 2022, the NPC will adopt him, matic yon, SP?

SP Sotto: That is a possibility. But I cannot speak for my entire party at this point when it comes to a Presidential candidate? I can get the support of the majority, but I cannot dictate on my party-mates who they should support. So, consultation pa rin yan, usap usapan pa rin yan. We have never been that way eh, from 1992 to present. Kaya matibay yung party naming eh, tsaka bihirang bihira ang lumipat eh. Pag member ng NPC from 1992, up to now, including all the national elections, mga 98% of the NPC members remain NPC members. Kahit meron nang nanalo na Presidente... Hindi kami pareho nung iba, kung sino yung nakaupo, biglang lipatan eh. Hindi ganon eh. And if... There was one time I was listening to a political analyst, si Malou Tiquia, if you know her... She reviewed all the constitutions. She told us that she thinks that the best constitution written of any political party is the constitution of the NPC.

Q: SP tama po ba, wala po kayong ifi-field coming from inside of NPC? Pasensiya na po makulit ah. Malaki po yung chance na si Sen. Ping?

SP Sotto: Yes.

Q: What about Sen. Win Gatchalian? Meron po kasing mga hush-hush na posible daw po siyang tumakbo as VP? Or higher than senator?

SP Sotto: We have not talked. We have not talked. He has not told us, or any members of the party what his plans are. As far as I know, way back, which is 2 or 3 weeks ago, he was running for re-election. But given the fluidity of political affiliations, we are not sure.

Q: Meron po ba from NPC, nag-uurge kay Sen. Win to run for VP?

SP Sotto: Not familiar, I have no idea.

Q: Sen. Chiz and Sen. Loren, sila po nanatiling NPC?

SP Sotto: Yes. Sen. Loren is NPC. Sen. Escudero never left. He went on leave. So, we still consider him.

Q: Meron na po silang desisyon SP, I mean re-election for 2022?

SP Sotto: Alam ko oo, they are running for re-election. They will run for the Senate. (unclear)

Q: Sir hanggang kalian yung ibibigay niyong time kay Sen. Lacson to decide?

SP Sotto: I'm not giving him. Hindi naman magandang pakinggan yun parang binibigyan ko siya. Asa sa kanya 'yon. It's up to him. He would probably be deciding the same time I would. August, September. Baka August, I would have a fairly good idea already.

Q: But not to the point naman na don sa period na ng December na magkakaroon ng substitution.

SP Sotto: Hindi namin gagawin yun.

Q: Based dun sa mga ginagawa niyong consultation, doable ba Sir yung mga nakikita niyong possible solution sa current problems natin ngayon? I mean gaano kahirap, gaano kadali?

SP Sotto: Actually, we are drafting our proposals, mga plans. We're looking at how strong these proposals would be to combat the problems that we have. Kasama yun sa desisyon namin eh. Kasama sa pagdesisyon namin yung ano ba programa natin? Ano ba mga problema ng bansa? Ano bang mga program ang pwede natin isagot diyan? Kasama sa usapan namin yun. Dahil kung wala kaming programa at wala kang solusyon, bakit kami makikitakbo. Hayaan mo na yung ibang nakahandang tumakbo ng bahala na. Hindi ganon ang mentality namin Ang mentality namin is (unclear). Kaya hindi madaling sumagot na oo tatakbo kami. Hindi eh. Because we're planning also, we're looking at the solutions at kung doable. Ganon eh. At of course ayaw din namin magsinungaling, hindi hindi kami tatakbo... Tapos pag-filing: hindi kumbinse kami ng mga kaibigan ko... Bigla na lang October, nagfa-file. Hindi kami ganon.

Q: Sir paano yun, pag buo na yung draft, ipapakita ninyo sa tao? O pag buo na yung draft, eto na yung point na magfa-file kayo ng COC?

SP Sotto: Hindi naman. Siguro we'll agree. We'll sit down. I'll consult my group and Sen. Lacson will consult of course his supporters. There are a number of sectors that are pushing him to run. I think you should ask him about that. And then, kaya kung meron kami, at nagja-jive yung mga solution namin. Then siguro, we will be able to decide. And also, if not, at kung hindi kaya, wala, ay huwag na. Ba't namin, ba't mo isusubo ang bansa sa tagilid diba?

Q: Pero sa nakikita ninyo diba merong mga kayang solutions pa doon sa dinadraft ninyo, doon sa consultation?

SP Sotto: Yes. So far, so good. Especially, the issue of peace and order, illegal drugs, drug abuse, corruption - I think we have a fairly good proposals at hand. Ang binabalangkas naming ngayon, is what do we do with inflation, the economy, the 13 trillion debt, the larger pension budget over the budget of the armed forces. Yung mga ganon. Then the pandemic. Eto pa yung tinitingnan namin ano pa yung nakikitang pwedeng solusyon.

Q: Ano SP yung medyo problematic or difficult to address?

SP Sotto: 13 trillion debt. Ang bigat ng naging utang natin in the last 6 or 7 years. Bigat eh.

Q: Pero yung issue ng West Philippine Sea, foreign policy nandoon na agad? Kasi given na yung posisyon ninyo even as Senator...

SP Sotto: Oo. Tsaka maliwanag kung ano man ang posisyon natin doon. At tsaka yung mga programa doon. And then we need not discuss it, we can discuss it with people who are interested. But majority of our countrymen are not interested. I'm not even looking at the problem of, yung madalas banggitin ng mga pulitiko, yung creating jobs. Di'ba? Yun ang karaniwan na politico eh. Hindi eh, ang mentality naming is, give them high salaries. Because yung creating jobs, automatic gagawin, mangyayari yun pag maganda ang ekonomiya mo. Pero yung itaas ang sweldo, itaas ang income ng mga tao, yun dapat ang asikasuhin natin. Mas marami ang nagtatrabaho, na sa ngayon because of the pandemic baka 3x a week lang nagtatrabaho, maswerte nang 4x a week nagtatrabaho. So kailangan itaas natin ang sweldo ng mga yan. Lalo na kung mawawala na, maiiwasan na natin ang problema ng pandemic. Yung creating jobs, typical political slant. Sino audience mo roon? Mga istambay sa kanto. Pero yung mga nagtatrabaho at gusting magtrabaho, hindi yun ang problema eh, dapat itaas natin yung sweldo. Itaas natin ang income. Yun ang isa sa mga pinag-aaralan namin.

Q: Aside from creating jobs, ano pa yung tell tail signs na nagpapapogi lang yung pulitiko?

SP Sotto: Huwag na lang. Mamimintas pa tayo. Nasagasaan ko lang yun dahil naririnig ko madalas yun eh. Mapa-local, national naririnig ko yun. Pero hindi sinasabi kung paano gagawin.

Q: Tsaka yung walang gutom diba SP, mabubura ang kahirapan.

SP Sotto: Madalas ko ring marinig yan. (unclear) Targetin mo agricultural modernization, huwag mong pabayaan yung mga nangyayari diyan sa mga hog raisers, huwag mong pabayaang mapahamak ang mga magsasaka. 'Pag yan, ang sagot lahat niyan, nagtitrickle down effect yan, masasapul niyan yung kahirapan. Ganun eh. Andodon ang atensyon dapat eh. Asikasuhin natin ang ekonomiya, yung pagkakakitaan nila at tumaas ang kita. Iba't ibang sector yan, lalo na sa sector ng agrikultura. Yun ang lifeline natin eh, kung tutuusin eh, ng Pilipinas.

Q: SP tama ba yung napipicture ko, if and when it happens moving forward, halimbawa matuloy talaga yung tandem ninyo ni Sen. Ping, ibabalik ninyo yung ganitong level of discussions sa campaign, kung saan parang town hall type of campaign kung saan kakausapin ninyo ng diretso yung mga tao, mas magkakaroon ng kaalaman or direct hand yung mga tao magtanong sa inyo?

SP Sotto: Posible, possible yun. Yung consultation sa tao mahalaga yun. Kailangan, huwag ka lang nakikinig sa mga nakapaligid sa'yo. Konsultahin mo yung mga tao on the ground. Whether kaibigan mo, o hindi mo kaibigan, I think that's the way to do it. Konsultahin mo, maraming nagrereklamo sa radyo. Dapat yun naririnig nyo firsthand. Ganon dapat.

Q: So, less yung mga tipong kaway kaway, motorcade, meeting de avance kung kaya, more town hall meetings and consultation with people?

SP Sotto: Yung town hall meetings, kung papayagan ng IATF as long as there are health protocols followed, pwede.

Q: Tapos SP, tama rin ba, kasi ang napipicture ko is kung may mga returning senators, Loren, Chiz, JV ano yung likelihood na...

SP Sotto: Si JV, NPC oo.

Q: Yes Sir... Kasi nung 2019 binuksan ninyo yung scenario na mag-cacampaign kayo as one - eto yung mga re-electionist tapos tutulong yung iba, Sec. Gringo is returning too Sir,

SP Sotto: I think so. That's what I heard.

Q: So, Gringo is with NPC din ba Sir? Or he's independent, di po ba?

SP Sotto: He's independent. But he can be adopted, depende.

Q: Sir tama ba yung napipicture ko rin kasi is, aside from mga re-electionist senator for this period, they will be joined by the returning senators who will be under your fold?

SP Sotto: Well, hopefully. That's the ideal situation. Magkakasama kami, magkakaibigan kami. Whether we come from different political parties or not, there is a big possibility that we will be in the same ticket, some of them could be adopted, or guest candidate by other political groups, that's fine. It has happened in the past.

Q: Sir that is under serious consideration, tama ba?

SP Sotto: Yes, yes.

Q: And you're working on that already Sir?

SP Sotto: Also, yeah.

Q: Last na lang, yung kay Mayor Chavit, paano ita-translate yung eventual support niya not just as the political Kingpin of Ilocos region but also as President of the local municipalities of the Philippines? Pagdating sa national Sir.

SP Sotto: Pagdating sa national, definitely, Governor Chavit is an asset, is a political asset because he has many supporters. He has a (unclear) over many local officials, and he has done very well in Ilocos Sur. In fact, not only in Ilocos Sur, the entire tobacco region. He is- they are (unclear) to him dahil sa 7171, Republic Act 71717 if you recall. He has been a very astute politician.

Q: So paano iyon, given na iyon na come election, yung Ilocos region and some other friendly provinces na sumusunod sa directive niya will solidly support NPC candidates or your camp, ganoon ba iyon sir?

SP Sotto: Mahirap sabihin yung solidly. I will be talking of my heart if I do that. Bola, bola pag sinabi kong solidly. Hindi naman nangyayari iyon eh but a big majority will be supportive of our candidates, the candidates that we will support. I can say that. I can safely say that.

Q: Okay. Kamusta yung perception nila kay Senator Ping kasi diba, siyempre in the past, hanggang ngayon he is known to be anti-corruption advocate tapos siyempre may mga nakakabanggaan siyang local and even national officials, hindi ba iyon sir medyo nakakapingas sa kailangan na support ninyo in the coming days?

SP Sotto: Ang tanong eh - I don't think so, siyempre may mga ilan na baka nasagasaan na hindi magugustuhan but right now, we're still- we're still trying to feel the pulse even with my (unclear).

Q: Oh okay, and then how many more political kingpins in the provinces are you expecting aside from Mayor Chavit? Meron bang from Cebu? Meron bang from, you know from Quirino province, yung mga tipong mga heads din mga ganoon sir.

SP Sotto: Medyo, some of them kasi are already members of NPC eh. Now like for example, the province of Isabela, most but (unclear) of the political leaders there are NPC. They have been NPC for a long time. Pangasinan is the same thing, they have been NPC for the longest time. Si General Espino nag leave but even if he left the party, diba mga ganoon. Basta merong kaunting disgusto sa amin, magle-leave pero hindi maaalis ng partido iyon. So, the Espinos, Governor Pogi Espino and the Mayors of Pangasinan and then Tarlac is the most solid province for NPC. Well, the rest of region 3, marami kaming Mayor na incumbent. So I think we will be, we'll be getting a very good support nationally because in the Visayas and Mindanao also ha. But if there are man- there are other political or politicians that would like to join the party, I'm sure we will be accepting them unless medyo may kabangga sa amin that is the only problem lang naman eh na nangyayari sa amin eh, pagka- let us say somebody from Negros Oriental would like to run against George Arnais or he is against George Arnais but he wants to join NPC, we cannot accept it because George has been there for since 1992, NPC since 1992. There are instances na nangyayari iyon eh, yung gustong sumama sa NPC pero yung incumbent mo sa lugar niya, baka makalaban niya eh amin. Ganoon lang kami, ganoon lang kami tumatanggi. Friends friends na lang tayo pero huwag ka na sumama sa amin mabubunggo yung kapartido namin eh. Ganoon.

Q: Sir kumbaga sa ano sir klaruhin ko lang, hindi kayo into party rating, kung hindi (unclear).

SP Sotto: Hindi. No, no.

Q: Kasi yung iba nagpa-party rate, hindi ba?

SP Sotto: We have never done that, from 1992 to the present, we have never done that.

Q: Okay. Just an open invitation sir?

SP Sotto: Yeah, they are welcome. Especially if they are political assets and they are doing good in their localities, they are more than welcome.

Q: Okay sir. Sir, thank you. Sir, si Cely po ang next.

SP Sotto: Cely.

Q: Sir, bilang nagplaplano nga kayo tumakbo for higher position, hindi ho kayo nababahala doon sa isiniwalat ni Sen. Panfilo Lacson na may isang government official nagtatayo ng troll farm para siraan yung mga potensyal na mga kalaban ng administrasyon. SP Sotto: Well, siyempre nakakabahala iyon sapagkat pinadudumi nila ang pulitika sa Pilipinas. Hindi bale sana kung totoo yung sasabihin nung mga iyon eh, eh siguradong hindi. Dahil kung totoo, eh di kasuhan ninyo yung mga taong may ginagawang masama, hindi ba. Pero kung nag-iimbento lang, na sana, hopefully ang mga kababayan natin will sift through the rubble so to speak. You know. Sana alam nila kung alin yung paninira lamang at hindi.

Q: So, sir, wala po bang magagawa para ikontrol o ipagbawal yung troll farm, allowed po ba iyon?

SP Sotto: Nasa Facebook iyan. Sila. Kaya nila iyon eh. Kaya nila- makiki- nakikita naman nila eh. I have talked to one of the officers of Facebook in the Philippines and sabi nga nila, pwede- kaya nilang gawin iyon eh. Nakita nila o may nagreklamo sa ganito ganito, makikita naman nila kung ano yung ginagawa. (unclear) walang ginawa kung hindi manira, aba eh, siguro shut it down until after the elections. After the elections, eh di maglaro sila kung gusto nila.

Q: Sir hoping to gawin iyon ng Facebook ngayong election dahil I'm sure marami po ang gagamitin talaga ang social media para siraan yung kalaban.

SP Sotto: I hope so. I hope so kasi nung araw kasi, yung mga duwag eh, tahimik lang eh. Pero ito ang lalalakas ng loob eh kasi hindi sila nakikita, nasa likod lang ng computer.

Q: Sir, hindi ba maraming mga kasamahan kayo nagsasabi ano na daw kaya ang Senate after 2022 dahil gragraduate yung mga veterans - kayo, Drilon, Recto, at si Lacson ayaw na rin po mag (unclear) ng re-election, so sa tingin ninyo welcome development na nagsabi na sina Senator Loren, Chiz na magbabalik sila ng Senate.

SP Sotto: Malaking bagay iyon. Yes oo, that's welcome development at least eh mababalik doon yung mga antigo. Well, forgive me for the word antigo, hindi, for the experience...

Q: Veterans.

SP Sotto: For the veterans. Iyan.

Q: And then sir, sinabi ngayon na may about, additional pa yatang apat na delta variant na pumasok dito sa ating bansa, so ganoon pa din po iyong stand ninyo na dapat maging flexible sa pinatutupad na quarantine at health protocols?

SP Sotto: There should be adjustments and improvements. Iyon ang hinahanap namin o hinahanap ko kasi may mga navaccine na eh. You (unclear) need not subject the Filipinos who are already vaccinated- fully vaccinated even those visiting us yung mga lalo yung mga investors, we should not be too strict on those who are fully vaccinated already. That will also inspire or bigyan ng- ma-eengganyo yung mga hindi pa nagpapavaccine magpavaccine kapag nakikita nila na yung mga seniors na navaccinate, pwede na lumabas. Hindi ba. Tagal pa rin naman eh. They will practice the health protocols eh, they'll follow the health protocols. They will support all health standards na sinasabi. Pagka ganoon, okay lang. Hindi ba. So iyon yung sinasabi ko, adjustments, improvements, kasi kung hindi, ang ekonomiya natin sumobrang sobrang gapang pagong na eh.

Q: Sumadsad na ng husto.

SP Sotto: Kung hindi nakahinto. Sobrang gapang pagong. Kaya kailangan timplahin mabuti. Timplahin naman natin na pwedeng gumalaw at pwedeng umusad na ito. Bagamat tayo'y naghihigpit pa rin sa ating mga kalusugan.

Q: And then sir, according to Secretary Nograles, may ipapalabas nang memo this week ang Malacañang tungkol doon sa paggamit ng face shield. Ano yung expectation ninyo o may info na ba kung ano yung ilalabas na memo?

SP Sotto: Wala pa pero ang narinig ko- well kung ang Presidente ang tatanungin, sa rinig ko sa kanya at ako'y- ako'y hindi nag-iisang nakaharap nung sinabi niya iyon, nakaharap si Speaker Velasco, nakaharap si Migz Zubiri, nakaharap si Joel Villanueva, kung di ko matatandaan yung iba, sila yung nakaharap eh. Kung si Presidente tatanungin mo, pinaaalis na niya yung face shield. Sabi niya sa ospital lang iyan ginagamit. Ngayon, eh sa narinig ko, sa mga DOH officials at tsaka sa IATF, kung meron silang bagong protocol na sinasabi, siguro sasabihin nila sa mga enclosed areas lang dapat gamitin. Sa labas, sa labas huwag na baka ganoon ang- pwede ng hindi. Ngayon kung gusto mong gumamit, edi gumamit ka. Hindi ba. Pero huwag naman nilang ifi-fine dahil hindi gumagamit ng face shield, lalo na eh, naka face shield nagmimist yung mukha. Eh ganoon ang nangyari sa akin nung kaharap ko si Presidente nagmimist yung mukha ko eh. Kaya sabi ko, sorry po nagmimist sabi ko, ginanun ko sandali eh...

Q: So lumalabo na yung paningin ninyo.

SP Sotto: Sabi (unclear), tanggalin mo na iyan sabi sa akin.

Q: So okay lang sa inyo kung ganoon yung ilabas na memo na enclosed area, hindi lang hospital and then pag lumabas pwede nang tanggalin. Okay lang sa inyo iyon?

SP Sotto: It's an improvement. It's an improvement but then again until now they have not submitted to the Committee of the Whole the list of countries that mandate the use of face shields. Humingi ako sa kanila nung hearing, wala pa hanggang ngayon.

Q: Ah wala sir maisusubmit na other countries using...

SP Sotto: Sabi nila pinag-aralan daw iyan eh ganoon daw finding ng mga experts. Sabi ko, nasaan. Patingin.

Q: Sir last na lang. Namention ninyo nun na tama ba na mabuting maging open na lang na pa-imbestigahan yung drug operation dito sa ating bansa pero sa tingin ninyo magpalala kaya doon sa kaso sa war on drugs ang administrasyon ito ho nangyari sa Laguna recently na isang menor de edad ho ang napatay ng mga pulis na sinasabing naka hand cuffed nung barilin although may claim naman ang mga pulis ho na nakipagbarilan daw ho yung 16-year-old na bata.

SP Sotto: I'm not familiar with that case. What I'm saying- what I said was kung gusto nilang pumunta dito para makita yung mga statistics mag-imbestiga sila, sa akin, personally kung gusto nila, eh di pumunta sila dito. Hindi ba. Iyon yung akin hindi ko sinasabing imbestigahan nila. Hindi ba. Pumunta sila. Kaya ko sinasabi iyan kasi yung stats na nabanggit ko nuong isang araw, 2019 o 2020 na stats eh, yung mga 78,000 ang mga arrested out of 38 or 48,000 drug operations. May bago ng- may bago ng, sandali ha para sigurado, may bago ng stat eh. Sandali. Ano lang para malinaw.

Q: Latest statistics po sir?

SP Sotto: Oo, ito yung latest eh. Eh malaking bag- malaking koneksiyon ito sa sasabihin ko sa inyo kaya ko hinahanap. Ano ito, nasaan na, sandali lang. Naku, wala doon sa- sandali lang ha. Pasensya na ha (unclear) nagmamadali ba kayo?

Q: Hindi (unclear)?

SP Sotto: Sandali lang.

Q: Okay. So sir...

SP Sotto: Ibibigay ko sa inyo yung statistics (unclear). Ngayon, bakit ko ibibigay ito? Makikita ninyo na ang laki ng number na mga arestado. Yung 2019 at tsaka 2020, napakadami ang arestado, ang dami rin ang nakasuhan at ilan yung drug operations. Ito ngayon- eto out of, from 2020, 50,429 arrested suspects from January 1 to August- ay to August, to 2020 pala ito. 50,429 are from January 1 to August, six months nung 2020. Alright. 50,429 arrested suspects. Ito mahigit kalahati nito ang drug operations, ganoon din more or less makikita niyong statistics ng 2019, 2018 nung kainitan ng Oplan Tokhang. Malaking malaki ang number ng arestado pwera pa yung mga surrenderee ha at mal- ang number ng drug operations nasa mga 38 to 48,000 between duon ang figures eh, I cannot give you the exact figure now but mareresearch naman iyon eh. So kung totoo yung binibintang nila na yung drug war sa Pilipinas ay pinapatay lahat basta mga pusher at dinadamay kahit hindi pusher, eh di dapat 78,000 ang patay. Arestado 78,000 eh, ang binibintang nilang napatay nasa mga wala pa 10,000. Ang totoong statistics 3,000, ang sinasabi nila mga mahigit 10,000. Eh ang sinasabi doon sa 10,000 pati mga murder, mga kung anu-ano, pati parricide eh nakalista doon na parang drug-related eh. Hindi tama yun. Talagang ano iyon, directly naninira lang sa administrasyon. So, ayan ba, iyang mga statistics na iyan, pinadala doon sa kila ano yung...

Q: ICC. Bensouda.

SP Sotto: Anong pangalan?

Q: Kay Prosecutor Bensouda yung nagretire na...

SP Sotto: Kay Prosecutor oh pinadala sa kanya yun. Alam ba niya yung tunay na stats? Hindi. Ang pinadala sa kanya yung number ng pinatay at napatay, whether lumaban or hindi. Ganoon ang tingin ko. So ngayon iyon yung opinyon ko kaya talagang ang iisipin eh matindi. Kaya nga, kapag binabanggit ko yung, marami talagang mahina entendimiento eh, nabanggit ko nung sinabi ko ganyan din bang ginawa nilang- tinatanong ko lang, ganyan din ba ang ginawa nila sa drug war sa Mexico? At tsaka sa South America na tuloy tuloy yung mga drug wars nila, mga gang war nagpapatayan tapos ang mga pulis involved, ang armed forces involved, ganyan din ba ang ginagawa nila? Member din ba ang Mexico ng ICC? Ang Pilipinas hindi member. So may nagpadala ng reklamo, oh sino? Edi yung galit sa administrasyon because hindi patas yung nakarating na figures or nakarating na balita. Iyan ang ano ko, iyan ang opinion ko.

Q: So better nga na maging open o mag- tingnan nila para makita yung tunay...

SP Sotto: Mabuti pa. Pumunta rito makausap nila yung mga- alam niyo yung, naalala niyo mayroong mga bisita kami dati sa Manila Hotel kami nila Senator Lacson at Senator Honasan nasa Senate pa si Senator Honasan. Nag-iimbestiga sila rito, nagpuntang mga Senators ata iyon or Congressmen eh, tiga Europe tiga EU. Naglunch kami sa Manila Hotel, nagkuwentuhan kami, kinwento ko iyan, sinabi ko iyan binigay ko yung mga figures na ganoon, natahimik na iyon eh, yung grupo na iyon tumahimik na eh bigla nilang narerealize na ay political. Ganoon eh. Tumahimik yung grupo na iyon after nakuha yung mga stats eh kasi hindi nga kapani paniwala eh kung totoo yung bintang na pinapatay lahat isang daang libo na ang patay dahil higit isang daang libo na ang arestado eh. Marami naman may kaso, malaki naman ang improvement sa prosecution natin kaysa nung prosecution nung nakaraang administrasyon. Mahigit 85% ng kaso sa droga, dismissed. Oh eh ngayon at least mahigit 50% na, masama pa rin pero ibig sabihin, eh ang laki ng improvement.

Q: So parang politically motivated yung (unclear) sa ICC sir?

SP Sotto: Tingin ko ganoon ang, ganoon ang dating kasi iba ang nakarating duon. Iba ang nakarating doon.

Q: Sir, ang susunod na magtatanong sa akin si Paolo Romero.

SP Sotto: (unclear) go ahead.

Q: (Unclear) sir. Good morning, good morning. Sir, two questions lang. First, going back duon sa politics, you said you are going around the country for consultations, these consultations sir will also have the effect of consolidating the party ano? Parang...

SP Sotto: Well, (unclear). Possibly but as a matter of fact, the party needs not- does not need any consolidation. Solid naman kami. Okay naman, wala ako naririnig na, wala kami napupulsuhan o naririnig na tumatagilid. As a matter of fact, even yung mga taga Mindanao namin mga kapartido, they remain solid with the Nationalist People's Coalition.

Q: Sir last question, you mentioned about the dangers of yung magagamit, possibly, well coming from (unclear) administration on the- using social media as a potent tool- weapon sa elections no, particularly the use of fake news or distorted information, with the NPC as a party make a formal request or get some formal coordination with Facebook to try to prevent this or have them ask them to be more vigilant or watch out for this or any other move by party to prevent this kasi grabe yung, apparently grabe na talaga yung influence ng fake news sa social media in terms of determining the outcome of the elections. May namention si Sen. Panfilo Lacson about a Usec, I think a Malacañang Usec going around the country trying to establish at least one or two troll farms in every province although hindi na niya sinabi yung additional details so that appears to be a danger, a distinct danger in the horizon as far as the elections concerned, so you think the NPC would make a formal coordination or anything action, representation with facebook and other social media platforms para dito sir?

SP Sotto: Well, we might not be the instigator of the complaints but we will surely support any complaints to that effect. Hindi pa namin napapag-usapan as a party yang parte na iyan but I don't think may matutuwa diyan. Siguradong sa grupo namin, kasi even before up to now, we have never resorted to dirty poli- dirty type of politics eh. Even during the time of (unclear) even up to now. Hindi namin gawa iyon eh. So we will support any complaints or any petitions to that effect. But then again, then again ang maganda na lang, the good thing going about the political scene in the Philippines right now, based on the latest survey I saw, 80% of the framing of the Filipino and they listen to tele- national TV. Next is the tele- yung mga television program ang mabigat. Pag sumunod yung mga- eh wala naman naninira duon sa mga television programs eh. Hindi ba. Hindi nila gawain iyon. Ang sumunod na either- local television programs. Iyan ang mga sinusunod, nakikita ng tao. Pagkatapos, radio to some extent at tsaka pala papasok yung ano, ang social media at ang social media Facebook. Napakahina ng twitter, napakahina ng Instagram. Facebook at tsaka youtube, iyon yung kasunod duon sa linya na iyon. Therefore, ang malaking pinaniniwalaan ng tao, national television. Yun ang ano- tapos yung mga national television at tsaka yung mga local television programs nila. So itong mga gagawin nilang mga trolls, mga paninira na ito, sila sila rin iyon. Sarili nilang mga press release iyon, sarili nilang paninira iyon. Alam mo sa mata ng Panginoon, pagbabayaran din nila iyon at tsaka malamang hindi sila magtagumpay sa ganoon gawaing masama. But then again, we should not let it go. So if there are any proposals to go against it, my political party will definitely support it.

Q: Sir just to press that- just to fine your point lang on that issue. Not necessarily filing a complaint but maybe just trying to get in touch with Facebook maybe YouTube and telling them na maybe to keep watch or just to warn them of this, this, this, this very, possibility of this again being used kasi I remember some of the, if I may call them, what you call that, "operators of the administration" then were bragging shortly after the victory in 2016, they were talking about they were really good and they pointed to social media platforms as one of their reasons why they got the support coming from behind.

SP Sotto: Surely. Surely we will do that. We will support- we will ask Facebook to look into the matter. Sigurado iyon.

Q: Thank you. Thank you, sir. Sir, next is Mara Cepeda of Rappler.

SP Sotto: Alright. Mara.

Q: Hi SP, magandang tanghali po. Sir on another topic, on another topic po, we're on the last year na po of office of President Duterte, so I was hoping to ask you sir as one of the most senior members of the Senate, how would you rate his relationship with Congress as compared to other administrations or other Presidents under whose government you served as Senator?

SP Sotto: Well, (unclear). We have I think a very good relationship. As a matter of fact, an example would be the problem with the BARMM elections. That's a very good example. The President has not decided, and he keeps on getting the pulse from both my end and the end of Speaker Velasco. And then he is listening to both the political groups involved. The local officials, and the officials of BARMM. Yung mga ganoon. Sa ibang mga pangyayari, sa ibang mga issues, generally, the President would get the pulse and then pagka merong gustong ipasabi, or may gustong suggestion, the Secretary of Finance always gets in touch. Okay naman, maganda naman ang relationship ng Congress and the Executive Department. The mini LEDAC, originally, malakas yung mini LEDAC at saka yung LEDAC eh, but you know, because of the pandemic, because of the issues na pagdating sa ganito, nahihirapan tayo, hindi na naging frequent yung LEDAC or even yung mini LEDAC. But if you recall, there was a LEDAC called when I suggested that we come up with SAP. Di ba, yung subsidy, amelioration natin sa mga kababayan natin. That was about February or March 2020. They immediately called a meeting, Sec. Dominguez told the President of my idea, and we drafted the law. Tumawag na kaagad ng buong Cabinet meeting yun if you recall. Tapos lagi kaming nagko-kunsultahan, kinokonsulta naman kami. Kami, kung alanganin, my Majority Leader, Sen. Zubiri, would always try to get in touch with them and find out the pulse of the Palace if we are not sure about a certain issue.

Q: How strongly does the President lobby for his pet bills? Because there are measures na paulit-ulit niyang namemention sa SONA, and hindi po nagfa-fly. We know there are several factors, but how strongly does the President lobby personally to make sure that Congress would be able to pass his pet bills?

SP Sotto: He does not. It's very, very seldom the President would mention anything like that when we talk, on the phone or in person. There were times that I was expecting calls from him, even CA, Commission on Appointments, as chairman, even when I was just a member, I was expecting a call from the President. He never did. If we do talk to each other on the phone, it's about something else, it's not anything political. He has not done what other presidents have done, that's one thing. I would probably say, in the last five years, he has only told me of a bill that he support, only once. Yung ibang mga bill, talagang hinahayaan niya kami, kahit na controversial.

Q: Anong bill po yun?

SP Sotto: The Department of Migrant Workers. Ang pagkakasabi pa niya, hindi pa command, ha? Sab niya, tingnan ko daw kung pwede kong suportahan.

Q: Is this a good thing or a bad thing that the president directly lobby to you?

SP Sotto: That is actually a good thing. It is a very good thing because we were able to establish really and hold onto the independence of the Senate. Di ba yun ang sinasabi ko, when I the first day, my first hour in office, that was my promise. We will make the Senate an independent Senate. We can be supportive, but we can be critical, di ba? Kita ninyo naman yung ilang beses kami nag imbestiga sa problema ng Executive Department, na kung hindi kami independent, eh di tahimik na lang kami sa ganoon.

Q: Very unique yung presidency ni President Duterte, because under him, apat yung naging Speakers of the House. What does this tell you about his relationship with the House, and how he is able to control or try to manage the different power brokers in the lower chamber?

SP Sotto: What do you exactly mean?

Q: What does it say about the Duterte presidency with the House having four different Speakers in six years?

SP Sotto: There was only one time that the president meddled. That was during the problem when there was a trio, when there were three congressmen who wanted to be Speakers. That was the only time when he tried to find a solution, which they were able to do. Mag hati na lang, and the third one was going to be supported by the President, when he runs for higher office. Ganoon na lang yung naging solution niya. Pero the others, the rest, baka kaya ganoon, dahil hindi siya dumidiin. Unlike the other presidents, sinasabi nila talaga ung sino ang gusto nilang Speaker, at sinusunod na ng ibang Congressmen. Ito, hindi eh, di ba?

Q: You said that you were expecting a call from the President several times pero once ka lang naka-receive, and that was regarding the Department of Migrant Workers. Anong mga bills po yung ineexpect ninyo sana si President to make a call po?

SP Sotto: The economic bills, number of controversial measures na tinutulak ng Executive Department. You know, it is not like I am expecting him to call us, no. Yun yung mga, sa tagal ko dito, from 1992 up to now, may mga controversial measures na talagang pag gustong-gusto ng Executive Department, ang Presidente ang tumatawag doon sa mga key officials. That is what has happened in the past, but he has never done that. That is what I mean when I am expecting that the President will call or say what he wants, something like that, but he never did. It's not that I wanted him to do that, no. I am just saying that if it were the previous administrations, there would have been calls like that.

Q: Sa sinabi ninyo na aside from former Senators Loren Legarda and Chiz Escudero, may other candidates pa po ba for the NPC senatorial slate like sina former Senators JV Ejercito and Gringo Honasan?

SP Sotto: definitely JV Ejercito because he is a member of the NPC.

Q: Meron pa po ba kayong mashe-share na possible members ng senatorial slate ng NPC?

SP Sotto: all the re-electionists na kasama namin sa Majority.

Q: Si former Senator Gringo Honasan din po?

SP Sotto: Yes, oo.

Q: Sen. Ping Lacson earlier said na it is either the presidency or retirement po para sa kanya, so he won't seek a re-election na po? Do you agree with that, or would you recommend him pa rin if ever he does not seek yung presidency, would you recommend or suggest na he would push for re-election because you said earlier na maganda na maraming veterans in the Senate?

SP Sotto: I do not want to speak for him, alright? I do not want to give him a suggestion Unless he asks for my advice. Pasensiya ka na, I refuse to answer your question. He has his own perspective in the matter, so I would not like to, at this point, I would not want to meddle in his thinking. Unless he asks me.

Q: For now, pinupush po talaga na sana president yung takbuhan ni Sen. Lacson?

SP Sotto: Oo, a number of groups already talked to him and talked to me also. Kaya we are seriously considering it.

Q: Is NPC willing to partner with other political parties? If ever, meron na po bang ag reach out sa inyo?

SP Sotto: Doon sa last question mo, nag reach out, wala pa. In the past, we have had alliances. I do not recall any coalition. Iba yung coalition sa amin, sa amin, we treat an alliance better than a coalition. Kasi, nagkaroon kami ng hindi magandang experience before na ka-coalition namin itong isang political party, pagkatapos, pagdating doon sa mga lugar na kontrolado ng NPC, bigla silang may kandidato na kalaban nung kandidato namin. Anong klaseng coalition yun? So, we have shunned any coalition. Siguro alliance especially in the House of Representatives, meron kaming ibang strategy in the past, and even up to now, we have an alliance with the President. Yun ang stand ng NPC sa Congress as far as I know.

Q: Pero kung may lalapit for alliance, ano pong klaseng party ang tingin ninyo makikipag-ally kayo sa NPC?

SP Sotto: We will consult muna our members.

Q: Sabi ninyo, pagka tatakbo si Sen. Ping for president, kayo VP. Would you still run kung tatakbo for vice-president si Presidente Duterte?

SP Sotto: If I have finished my consultations are ready with a program Vice President, ano, I will not look at the other candidates who are running. As I said, and that was my statement, it will have no (unclear) my resolve. In other words, welcome to the club. Okay lang kahit sino ang tumakbo, siguro naman meron din silang programang ipi-prisinta.

Q: Parang matira matibay at pinaka-macho ang manalo.

SP Sotto: Hindi, nasa taong bayan yan, kung sino ang tingin nila na gusto nila na makakagawa ng mabuti doon sa posisyon na yun, di ba? Eh di siguro nga, the more, the merrier.

Q: Basta kayo ni Presidente, sincere friends, walang personalan kung sakali mang magtapatan kayo?

SP Sotto: Oo, siguradong ano. Siguradong hindi kami basta-bastang magkaaway, hindi naman siguro. Magkaibigan pa rin naman kami. He is going to be (unclear) a formidable opponent or competitor I should see, not opponent. He will be a very formidable competitor, but it does not have anything to do with my proposal or my offer as an alternative to the people. If, we do decide.

Q: Yun pong sina Senator Loren, JV and Escudero, sigurado na sir na tatakbo for senator?

SP Sotto: I think so. As far as I know, for sure they are going to run for the Senate again.

Q: Sabi ni Cong, Joey Salceda, sana daw mag special session para masave yung P18 billion na unutilized Bayanihan 2 funds na expiring sa June 30, pero you were saying na hindi kayo pwede na mag special session kapag days before days before the SONA?

SP Sotto: Hindi. No, hindi ginagawa, pero I checked on the Constitution pero may line doon na nakasabi na the President may call a special session at any time, so we leave it to the President. He can if he wants to. He can call for a special session.

Q: Would you suggest that? Sayang naman yung P18 billion kung maabutan ng expiration ng Bayanihan 2.

SP Sotto: Mga nakaraang taon, P435-P440 billion ang mga unused eh. P18 billion lang ito, pwede namang hintayin ng July 27. Pwede namang gamitin ulit. Pero, I think the President may be able to use that now.

Q: Paano po masisigurado na magagamit yung P18 billion? Meron po bang ibang source na pang replace doon sa P18 billion na hinahabol?

SP Sotto: No. Really, I have not really delved into that idea, actually. Hindi ko kasi pinansin yan, hindi ko kasi pinag-isipan, so I cannot give you a very intelligent answer on the matter. Ang alam ko lang, tiningnan ko nung sinabing special session, mukhang tagilid, bakit adjourn sine die, so tiningnan ko yung Constitution, merong line doon na the President can call a special session any time. (Unclear) let's leave it this way, the president and his economic managers know what is best. Sila ang masusunod, hindi Congressman. So, kung ano ang gustong gawin ni Presidente, susunod kami.

Q: Are you willing na ampunin si Sen. Manny Pacquiao just in case daw po na mapatalsik siya sa PDP-Laban, parang may ganoong interview with Sec. Nograles kanina, na parang posibleng magkaroon ng election ulit at baka matanggal na po bilang national president si Sen. Manny Pacquiao sa PDP. So, kung may (unclear) ba ang NPC na ampunin?

SP Sotto: Mag eeleksiyon sila, huwag namang sinipa, hindi siguro. Kung mag eeleksiyon sila, mag eleksiyon sila. I think they will elect Sen. Pacquiao pa rin pag nagtawag sila ng election. So, if he wants to join NPC? We will cross the bridge when we get there. Of course, he will be welcome to the NPC if he joins the NPC.

Q: Mayor Isko Moreno is also among the names sa mga preferred presidential candidate? Are you reaching out, or is there any talk with NPC and Isko by this time?

SP Sotto: No.

Q: Sabi ninyo kanina, you are more open to alliances than coalitions. How possible, is it that you will ally with the opposition?

SP Sotto: We are in alliance with the President right now. How can that is not possible. (Unclear) have an alliance with the opposition while you are allied with the president right now? That's not possible.

Q: Si Mayor Sara Duterte sinabi na magde-decide na siya, or magbibigay na siya ng decision by July. Any candidate now, ayaw pang magsalita kasi sinasabi nga baka maging sentro sila ng mudslinging, but you think, pag may magsimula ng magsalita, kunyari, si Mayor Sara by July, magti-trigger na ito na magkakaroon ng sunod-sunod na pronouncements yung mga candidates na tatakbo na rin sila?

SP Sotto: Siguro. That is possible. At least, open yung mga kandidato kesa sa sinasabing hindi, hindi, eh di mabuti na yung malaman na natin talaga.

Q: Ibig sabihin, basta may magsimulang magsalita, magsu-sunod sunod na?

SP Sotto: Hindi ko masabi yun, I don't know. It depends. Siguro.

Q: Yung kay Gov. Chavit, sabihin na nating medyo selyado yung boto ninyo pagdating sa Norte, paano ninyo sisiguraduhin that you also have a good grip of Visayas and Mindanao on votes?

SP Sotto: You are putting the cart before the horse. Hindi pa kami nagde-desisyon eh. Once we decide we will talk about that. At saka para hindi rin kami mapaghandaan ng mga magiging competition.

Q: Pero sakali na hindi tumakbo si Sen. Ping, pero kayo, buo na yung solution ninyo sa mga problema, posible pa rin na tatakbo kayo as VP pero hindi si Sen. Ping ang tandem ninyo?

SP Sotto: I will cross the bridge when I get there.

Q: May proposal na magkaroon ng safe place workplace sa mga vaccinated versus unvaccinated workers. Proposal daw ito ni Presidential Adviser on Entrepreneurship, kung baga magkakaroon ng ibang place doon sa opisina para sa mga vaccinated, ihihiwalay sa unvaccinated. Hindi ba ito discriminatory?

SP Sotto: It is. But then again, you have to, I think they should weigh it muna ng mabuti. The issue of discriminatory or, for a lack of a better word, enganyo. You enjoin the others to be vaccinated, di ba? Para wala ng problema, lahat vaccinated na. But if you reach the 70 percent naman kasi, siguro hindi na kailangang gawin yun.

Q: Pero like creating a separate space for vaccinated people, and then separate space for unvaccinated?

SP Sotto: Okay, ganito na lang. I think they should study the proposal well. I have no opinion right now for or against. They should weigh it. Inasmuch as kami rin, siguro tingnan namin. Ako rin, on a personal note, pag-aralan kong mabuti kung okay yan o hindi. Gagawin sana yun sa NBA ah, may area para sa vaccinated, may area para sa hindi. Bakit hindi tinuloy? Tapos ngayon, open? Ang daming hindi naka mask eh. So, tingnan natin ano ang nangyari sa proposal na yun. Pag-aralan natin. Pag-aralan na rin nila muna.

Q: Yung tatakbo, returning Senators, Gringo, Loren, Chiz, and JV?

SP Sotto: Oo, para sa (unclear) and then I think Bam is running for re-election again.

Q: Pero si Sen. Bam is under LP?

SP Sotto: Oo.

Q: Pero yung apat na nabanggit natin, lahat yun NPC?

SP Sotto: Tatlo NPC. Greg has always been an independent, but adopted, a guest candidate.

Q: Tapos siyempre Sen. Win, yung mga existing ngayon.

SP Sotto: Yes, Sherwin, Joel, Migz Zubiri, Dick Gordon,

Q: Sen. Ping hindi na. Si Sen. Gordon, iaadopt ng NPC?

SP Sotto: Hindi pa namin napapagusapan kung gusto niya. Hindi namin alam ang plano ni Sen. Gordon, baka tumakbong presidente yun, hindi natin masabi.

Q: Win, Joel, Migz, you will adopt?

SP Sotto: Sa akin, personally, but all these will be relayed to my party mates, and I will make sure that I consult them or the others that we would like to support. Baka gusto nilang ag NPC na rin.

Q: But Sen. Win is NPC.

SP Sotto: Yes, Sherwin is NPC. Mga kaibigan eh, marami, Like for example, si Joel maraming kaibigan sa NPC, may mga ganoon, di ba? Si Migz Zubiri, lalo na.

Q: Sino pa ang most likely iaadopt ng NPC sa Senate seat?

SP Sotto: Yung mga re-electionists na ka-alliance namin.

Q: May newbie ba?

SP Sotto: Sino ba yung mga newbie hindi ko pa sigurado ngayon. Next time, pag usap natin baka may idea na ako.

Q: Sa SONA preparations po.

SP Sotto: SONA, there are three scenarios that are being discussed, that we discussed before, and we leave it now to the Office of the President, through the PSG to decide kung ano ang gusto nila. First scenario is the 2020 scenario which is so many numbers of representatives from the Senate, and so many numbers lang from the House of Representatives, baka madagdagan ng kaunti. Sa Senate, a maximum of 30. That includes already the Secretariat and the Sergeant-at-Arms, and sa House, if dati 100 sila, something like that, at saka ang suggestion yata ni Speaker Velasco, those who are fully vaccinated already, parang ganoon, may, depende sa number nila. And then the President arrives, goes straight to the rostrum, and delivers his SONA. That is scenario number one. Scenario number two is that the President is in the Palace, in Malacañang, and Congress, with the Speaker and I, in Batasan. The third scenario is the President, and I, and Speaker, are in the Palace and the rest are in Batasan. Those are the three scenarios that they are choosing from unless they come up with something else.

Q: Pero same lang po, 30 and 100?

SP Sotto: Yun ang tanda ko. I don't know, that's how I remember it. Baka mas marami sa 100.

Q: Pag scenario 2 and 3, yun ang naka hiwalay si Presidente?

SP Sotto: Oo. You better ask Speaker Velasco for the exact number. I do not want to commit to a number that I am not sure.

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