Press Release
May 6, 2019

A first in the Senate...
PRIB: Sotto endorses all seven re-electionist colleagues

Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III did what his predecessors were unable to do - crossed party lines and endorsed all colleagues who are seeking another six-year term in the Senate.

Exactly a week before voters troop to polling precincts and cast their votes for a set of 12 senators who will form part of the 18th Congress in July, Sotto made formal his personal endorsements on all seven re-electionist candidates.

"We may differ in opinion on various issues but we respect each other's perspectives all the time. That's what makes this current batch of Senate members different from the previous ones. We're all here to work for a great common cause - to be the voice of the people and ensure the independence of the institution," he said.

In explaining his decision to back the candidacies of his incumbent colleagues, Sotto stressed that it was not based on party affiliation.

"Our common democratic ideals are what bind us together. This is not to say that other candidates are lacking in that aspect, it's just that the past few years that I have had the chance to work with them, I have seen their dedication and sincerity in addressing the social and economic inequalities in our country. Subok ko na sila," Sotto emphasized.

Sotto took the opportunity, during the national launch of the Luntian Party-list's "10 million trees challenge" held in Rizal Plaza in Calamba City, Laguna, to announce his personal line-up for the 2019 race to the Senate. "This is a big help for me," re-electionist Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, Sotto's predecessor said.

"I am thankful to SP (Senate President) Sotto for his support for all re-electionists," he added.

Re-electionist Senators Grace Poe and Sonny Angara, who both regarded Sotto as the current "father of the Senate", agreed that he is living up to his title where he has been the source of wisdom and stability.

"If there's one person who I know will never abandon me, it is Senate President Sotto. He is like a father to me and I believe in his leadership. The endorsement fires us up to work harder and do more for the Filipinos. We are humbled and grateful," Poe said.

"I am deeply honored and grateful to be endorsed by Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III under whose able leadership the Senate is admired by the public for its independence, transparency and sincerity," Angara said.

"Recent surveys conducted by top survey firms have shown that the Senate is the most trusted and appreciated key government institution with Senate President Sotto consistently getting high satisfaction ratings among top government officials in the country. This leaves no doubt that his endorsement is a tremendous boost to any candidate running in the May 13 midterm elections," he added.

Sotto likewise regarded the high trust and confidence of the people on the Senate, as consistently shown in various surveys, as a reason in endorsing the re-election bid of his colleagues saying that such is a manifestation of the continuing public support not only on the leadership but on members as well of the upper chamber.

Re-electionist Sen. Nancy Binay also expressed her appreciation to the support shown by Sotto to her and fellow candidates in the Senate.

"Nakakataba po ng puso ang pagkilala ng ating Senate President at iba pang kasamahan sa ating mga nagawa sa loob ng humigit-kumulang anim na taong panunungkulan sa Senado," she said.

"Makakaasa po siya at ang sambayanan na ipagpapatuloy ko ang pagseserbisyo sa taumbayan, kung papalaring makabalik sa Senado. Patuloy po tayong magsusulong ng mga batas na mag-aangat at makakabuti sa buhay at kapakanan ng ating kapwa," Binay added.

The three other re-electionists, Senators Cynthia Villar, Bam Aquino and JV Ejercito were also thankful to the move taken by the upper chamber leader.

"He has (already) endorsed us (before). Nagpapasalamat tayo kay SP (Senate President) Tito Sotto. Pito po kami running for re-election," Villar said in an ambush interview while in the middle of her campaign sortie Sunday.

Aquino, despite being part of the political opposition and minority bloc in the Senate, was elated to hear of the trust and confidence given to him by Sotto.

"Malaking bagay po itong suporta ni TitoSen na makabalik tayo sa Senado para mas marami pang matulungan na mga kababayan natin. Mula po noon, hindi matatawaran ang kanyang suporta sa aming mga naitrabaho sa Senado gaya ng Libreng Kolehiyo," said Aquino.

Ejercito said the same noting how Sotto welcomed him with open arms in the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC) when he decided to leave his party, the Partido ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) late last year. "Syempre thankful tayo and very grateful. Malaking boost ito kasama ng endorsement ng El Shaddai. Alam nyo naman that politics is addition so any support or endorsement is very much welcome," he said.

Since day one of the campaign period, Sotto has been vocal in expressing his full support to the re-election bid of his colleagues.

He even joined the kick off rally last Feb. 13 organized by Poe in Tondo, Manila attended by Binay, Villar, Ejercito, Angara and Pimentel. Aquino failed to attend as he was in the opposition's proclamation rally in Naga City at that time.

Completing Sotto's 10-man lineup are returning members Taguig City Rep. Pia Cayetano, former Sen. Manuel "Lito" Lapid and administration candidate, former special assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go.

Sotto also endorsed the Luntiang Pilipinas Partylist group where his daughter, Ciara, is a second nominee. "It makes Luntian Party-list's environmental advocacy more meaningful because it comes from the third highest official in the land. The assured support of the Senate chief to Luntian Party-list will make it easier for us to enact environmental laws in the coming 18th Congress," said Luntian first nominee Michael Ubac.

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