MANILA Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Thursday assured that the Senate would not be a rubber stamp of the Duterte administration under the 18th Congress.
In a news conference, Sotto said the upper chamber would remain independent, transparent and sincere amid the looming dominance of administration allies in its new composition.
"I really doubt it. I seriously doubt it will happen. First of all, ang leadership hindi kapartido ng Presidente (the leadership is not a party mate of the President). We would like to maintain, and if our leadership is retained, we would like to maintain an independent, transparent and sincere Senate, like what we had done in the 17th Congress," Sotto said.
He said the measures that will be passed by the Senate would be based on their own merits and not because they are being endorsed by the President, including pet bills such as death penalty and federalism.
"Kung, let's say sabihin mo na dahil gusto ng Presidente ganito, ganitong batas, kung talagang mabuti naman at maganda, bakit hindi? Pero kung ipipilit lang na alam namin makakasama, I doubt kung papasa sa amin (If the President wants a certain bill passed, we would approve it if it's good. But if it's not advantageous, then I doubt we will pass it)," Sotto said.
"Dahil sa Senate hindi ka puwede mag-ram through like for example sa House na puwede ka mag-ram through (You can't ram through the Senate, unlike in the House)," Sotto added.
Based on the partial and unofficial results of Monday's mid-term polls, the Duterte-backed candidates occupying the top 12 are re-electionist Senator Cynthia Villar, former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Lawrence Bong Go, former senator Pia Cayetano, former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa, reelectionist Senator Sonny Angara, former Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, former Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino, and reelectionist Senator Koko Pimentel. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency