Sotto: Incumbent senators can keep committee chairmanships

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 29 2019 09:26 AM | Updated as of May 29 2019 09:55 AM

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MANILA -- Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III on Wednesday said he was negotiating with incumbent and incoming members of the chamber over committee chairmanships. 

Incumbent senators usually retain their leadership of committees, while new members get the panels vacated by outgoing lawmakers, noted Sotto. 

However, "1 or 2" senator-elects want to chair committees held by incumbent colleagues, he said. 

"Pipilitin namin muna na ipa-realize sa kanila na pagdating ng 2022, sila naman iyung senior. Hindi nila gustong gawin sa kanila iyung gusto nilang gawin ngayon," Sotto told radio DZMM. 

(We will try to make them realize that by 2022, they will be the senior members. They wouldn't want to experience what they want to do now.) 

"Biruin mo incumbent ka ng 2022... ayaw mong pakialaman ang committee chairmanship mo unless gusto mong bitawan," he added. 

(Imagine that you are an incumbent until 2022... You don't want interference with your committee chairmanship unless you want to let go of it already.) 

First time senators who were proclaimed in May include former national police chief Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa, outgoing Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, and President Rodrigo Duterte's former aide Christopher "Bong" Go. 

"Ang akala siyempre nung ibang mga bago, iyung Senate President ang may hawak nun (committee chairmanship)... Lahat iyun binobotohan natin," said Sotto. 
 
(Some new members think the committee chairmanship is up to the Senate President. We vote on all of that.) 

Dela Rosa wants to lead the public order and dangerous drugs committee chaired by Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who readily obliged, said Sotto.

"Si Senator Lacson ang pinakamadaling kausap sa lahat... Sabi niya, 'Gusto mo ba?', sabi ni Bato, 'Oo sana sir.' Sabi ni Ping, 'E di sayo na,'" he said.

(Senator Lacson is the easiest one to talk to. He said, 'Do you want it?' Bato replied, 'Yes, sir.' Ping then said, 'It's yours.') 

The Senate will meet next week to orient its new members on traditions and resolve committee disputes, said the Senate President. 

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