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MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Vicente Sotto III is tasked to lead the upper chamber through the crippling coronavirus pandemic.
He shepherded the passage of several bills designed to help boost the pandemic response programs of President Rodrigo Duterte’s government – from Bayanihan 1 and 2, to the law speeding up the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines.
But it was also under Sotto’s term as Senate President when Philippine senators went all the way to the Supreme Court to question the limits of the Chief Executive’s power in revoking treaties ratified with the Senate’s concurrence.
How does Sotto maintain a cordial relationship with Duterte while ensuring that the Senate plays its role in checks and balances to the executive branch? What bills are in the Senate’s agenda in the last months of the 18th Congress? And will the soon-to-be graduating senator gun for higher office in 2022?
Rappler reporter Mara Cepeda sits down with Sotto to answer the most pressing issues faced by the Senate amid the COVID-19 crisis. – Rappler.com