Outgoing senators start emptying offices

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 06 2022 07:16 PM

Four senators who are set to leave their post on June 30 have started emptying their Senate offices.

In their more than a decade of serving the institution, what's in their heart according Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Senator Panfilo Lacson, is pure gratefulness for having the opportunity to serve the country.

Sotto, in a text message, said he will "relax" for a while after his term ends on June 30, but not for long.

"Just being practical. Relax muna but just standby. I might embark on an advocacy that will be controversial but necessary," Sotto said without elaborating.

But from Monday until July 29, he will still continue working, Sotto said.

Recto said he will not leave the Senate with a "heavy heart."

"Yes. I have to pack up... No heavy heart. Have been fortunate to be given the opportunity to serve our people in the Senate for 18 years. Am very grateful," Recto said.

Lacson, for his part, said what he feels is a "sense of fulfillment" after working at the Senate for 18 years.

What saddened him though he said, is seeing his staff in tears as they bid each orher goodbye.

"After last session, nag-start na kami mag-impake. No heavy heart, just a sense of fulfillment primarily because for the last 18 years, I’ve managed to keep my nose clean, while doing my job dutifully and with utmost integrity," Lacson said.

He added: "My heart goes out to my staff though. When I talked to them in batches of 4-5 last Thursday, June 4, naubos ang tissue ko sa office sa kaiiyak nila."

Drilon meantime hinted his intention to quietly leave the chamber by turning any media coverage request to film his staff packing up their things.

Asked if he will leave the Senate with a heavy heart, Drilon said: "No."

Aside from Sotto, Recto, Drilon and Lacson, other senators whose term will end noon of June 30 are Richard Gordon, Leila de Lima, Francis Pangilinan and Manny Pacquiao.