Pimentel nominates Sotto as new Senate President

MANILASenate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III is leading the reorganization of the Senate leadership by nominating Senator Vicente "Tito" Sotto III as the new Senate President effective Monday, May 21, 2018.

In a statement, Pimentel also acknowledged his fellow senators for their roles in passing landmark legislation. "I am grateful for the support extended by my colleagues in the Senate, all of whom played a significant role in the crafting and passage of landmark legislation that have helped improve the lives of our people," said Pimentel.

Pimentel said that he is honored to have served as Senate President, a position once held by his father, former Senator Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel Jr.

"It has been an honor and a privilege for me to serve the Senate as its President, a position once held by father before me. He served the Senate with dignity, always staying true to his principles and consistently putting the interests of our nation before hisand it was his example I had tried to emulate during my time at the helm of the Senate."

"When I became a lawyer, my father reminded me of the immortal words of former Justice JBL Reyes, words that he said inspired all those in our profession who fought martial law: No master but law, no guide but conscience, no aim but justice," he added.

"I served as Senate President inspired by the words of Justice JBL Reyes and guided by the principles and actions of Senator Nene Pimentel. I step down knowing that I tried my best to do this."

Pimentel said that "The cause of federalism needs help. Federalism is not only PDP Laban's advocacy but also my personal one. Hence, I need to help the cause of federalism on my personal time."

Pimentel added that as the head of PDP Laban, he believes it is imperative that "the party marshal its resources in support of our party's candidates in the upcoming midterm electionsindividuals who are committed to supporting the reforms and the advocacies of the President. Hence, the need to focus on preparing the party for the 2019 national elections."

He said he is committed to help his successor and to continue to help push the administration's legislative agenda.

"I wish my successor, Senator Sotto, good health and Godspeed, and pledge to help the new leadership pass pro-people legislation consistent with the legislative agenda of the President."

Pimentel was elected the 28th Senate President in July 2016, a post previously held by his father from November 2000 to June 2001.

Under his leadership, the Senate passed landmark legislation such as Republic Act (RA) 10931, which grants free tuition and other fees in state universities and colleges; RA 10932, which strengthens the provision of emergency health care service to patients by prohibiting medical practitioners from demanding advance payments from patients needing immediate care; RA 10929, which provides free internet access in public areas; RA 10963, which lowered the rates for personal income tax; RA 10928, which extends the validity of the Philippine passport from five to 10 years; and RA 10930, which extends the driver's license validity from three to five years, among others.

During Pimentel's term, the Senate also concurred in treaties involving the following: membership of the Philippines in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, climate change agreement (the "Paris Agreement"), cybercrime, the RP-EFTA (Free Trade Agreement), the Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation with the European Union, avoidance of double taxation, and standardization of social security benefits. (Senate PR)

Source: Philippine News Agency