MANILA, Philippines — Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III is poised to be the next chairman for the Senate ways & means committee after the resignation of Senator Ralph Recto yesterday.
Senator Ralph G. Recto on Monday resigned as chairman of the Senate ways and means committee, only days after coming under fire for approving a “watered-down” version of the sin tax reform bill. He also announced he is withdrawing the controversial committee report on the sin tax bill.
In a privilege speech at the Senate, Recto said he has become the “national punching bag of the week.”
“If my resignation is what is required to expedite the passage of this very important bill, then so be it… My resignation will also cure a perceived anomaly by political partisans who treat my criticism of an administration measure as a betrayal of my duties as a Liberal Party senator,” he said.
“But make no mistake about it, there is no quarrel as to the urgent need to legislate the intentions of this bill. There is only a divergence of views on how to achieve it.”
(from ABS-CBN News)
“I am ready to be your new national punching bag”, said Sotto, referring to Recto’s statement. “I am tired of being your ‘favorite neighborhood cyberbully whipping boy‘. It’s time we step-up to the national level.”
Critics noticed Sotto’s eagerness to accept Recto’s resignation during Monday’s hearing, where he was quoted as saying, “it breaks my heart that we accept Senator Recto’s resignation.”
The Recto resignation offer would be discussed in caucus today as strongly suggested by Sen. Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (from Manila Bulletin)
“Parang atat naman syang maging chairman (He looked eager to become chairman),” said a frequent Senate audience. “Mukhang may pinaplano syang kababalaghan (Looks like he’s planning something mysterious).”
But the outspoken Senator did not mince his words when asked for his motives behind the development. “Being a devout Catholic, I did my very best up to this point to object the Reproductive Health bill that are being pushed by some of my colleagues.”
He added, “I was accused of delaying, misinforming and even plagiarizing, none other than by the bill’s supporters during my crusade against it.”
The embattled senator said that being the new Chairman of the Senate ways and means committee entitles him to do what he does best without being judged erroneously.
“I will find new ways and means to delay this RH Bill, so help me God,” said Sotto.
Political analyst Proffessor Xander Lim compared Sotto to Pakistani gunshot victim Malala Yousufzai.
Malala Yousafzai did not trade in her modest head scarf for a pair of skinny jeans. She wanted to go to school.
For that, the Taliban tried to kill her. When her attackers learned that the freckled 14-year-old Pakistani might survive, they promised to finish the job. Malala, they explained, had been “promoting Western culture.” (from LA Times)
“On one hand, you have Malala who understands the importance of education for girls. On the other, you have a senator who doesn’t,” said Lim. “Although their views regarding this are miles apart, they do share the same name.”
“Malala na ang senador na ‘to!“