Sotto: Senators must reach 'consensus' on chairmanship rows


Posted at May 29 2019 01:41 PM | Updated as of May 29 2019 02:01 PM

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MANILA -- Several senators covet the chairmanship of 4 committees in the upper chamber of Congress, Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III said Wednesday. 

There are "2 or 3" senators competing for the leadership of each of the following committees: Blue Ribbon, education, justice and public services, Sotto told ANC. 

"If they cannot agree to a consensus... I will toss it to the body. The majority of the members will have to elect who they think should be the chair of those committees," said Sotto. 

The Blue Ribbon and justice committees are both chaired by Sen. Richard Gordon, whose term runs until 2022. 

Sen. Grace Poe, who won a fresh mandate in the May 13 polls, heads the public services committee, while outgoing Sen. Francis Escudero chairs the education panel. 

Asked if the committee row could lead to Sotto's removal as Senate President, he said, "I doubt it." 

Sotto needs the vote of at least 13 colleagues to retain his post in the incoming 18th Congress. He earlier said he had the support of "about 15 or 16" of his peers. 

The Senate will meet next week to orient its new members on traditions and resolve committee disputes, Sotto told DZMM earlier Wednesday.