By Charmaine A. Tadalan, Reporter
THIRTEEN senators have signed a draft resolution expressing support for Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III to continue his leadership in the 18th Congress.
“Under his leadership, the Senate has been lauded for its productivity which resulted in the passage of significant measures impressed with national interest,” read the resolution, which credited no author but was circulated among senators during Monday’s session.
Senator Emmanuel D. Pacquiao, who was among those who signed the resolution, said other signatories are Senators Panfilo M. Lacson, Grace S. Poe-Llamanzares, Sherwin T. Gatchalian, Aquilino L. Pimentel III, Nancy S. Binay, Juan Edgardo M. Angara, Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva, and Senate leaders Ralph G. Recto (Pro-Tempore) and Juan Miguel F. Zubiri (Majority Leader).
The three others are outgoing Senators Gregorio B. Honasan II, Loren B. Legarda, and Francis G. Escudero.
Mr. Pacquiao added that Senator Richard J. Gordon, who was not present during the session, relayed in a phone call his support for Mr. Sotto. “Senator Gordon called me expressing his support (for) your leadership,” Mr. Pacquiao told the Senate session.
Senator Cynthia A. Villar did not sign the resolution, which Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon questioned, saying, “Isn’t it unusual that a member of the majority will not sign the resolution?”
But Ms. Villar explained that she did not want to sign the resolution without coordinating with her allies in the Nacionalista Party, Taguig-2nd district Rep. Pia S. Cayetano and Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee R. Marcos.
“They were asking me to sign, I told them na ikaw Manny, ayusin mo muna ‘yung partido mo bago ka pumirma d’yan,” she said in an interview, Monday. (They were asking me to sign, but I told them — Manny, discuss it first with your party allies, before signing anything).
“In my behalf, I cannot sign because we have two newcomers from NP. I wanted to talk to them about the issues bago ako pumirma (before I sign),” Ms. Villar also said, referring to Ms. Cayetano, a former senator who has won a fresh term, and Ms. Marcos, who also won in the midterm senatorial race.
Outgoing Senator and majority bloc member Joseph Victor G. Ejercito also has not signed the resolution. Mr. Ejercito and Ms. Villar were both endorsed by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago partylist.