MANILA, Philippines – Newly elected Senate President Vicente Sotto III bade a temporary goodbye to Eat Bulaga, the country's longest-running noontime television show that helped propel him to power.
"Papaalam na muna ako (I will temporarily leave)," Sotto told reporters on Monday, May 21.
Asked if this means he would no longer host the show even on Thursdays and Saturdays where there are no Senate sessions, he said: "'Di na siguro, 'di na muna. Usap kami ni Vic and Joey and Tony Tuviera." (Not yet, for now. I will talk to Vic, Joey, and Tony Tuviera.)
Sotto, his brother Vic Sotto, and friend Joey de Leon are part of the triumvirate TVJ. Tuviera, meanwhile, is the show's producer.
In an earlier interview with Rappler, Sotto attributed his "practical" thinking to the show that propelled him to power. He would not be the politician that he is today, he said, if not for Eat Bulaga!
That showbiz connection, however, is also used by critics against him. (READ: Tito Sotto and the blurry lines of showbiz, politics)
Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email firstname.lastname@example.org