'Sarap ng buhay' no more? Sotto orders Bato to attend June 1 session physically
Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa has been enjoying working from his posh home to a point that he declared life in the time of pandemic to be good. But his happy days will soon be over.
On Tuesday, May 26, Dela Rosa could not hide his glee over the Senate's virtual session that ended in less than two hours – unlike the backbreaking marathon hearings in the previous week that tackled government's response to the coronavirus pandemic.
As he bid goodbye to his fellow senators online, the retired general let out a sigh of relief: "Ang sarap ng buhay! (Life is good!)" said Dela Rosa twice, flashing a wide grin. Then he added: "Ganito na lang tayo palagi ah! (Let's keep it this way!)
Life is good? Dela Rosa must be living in another world! And boy did Filipinos shove it to him. The online universe fumed after a video clip of his remarks went viral, as netizens took turns in slamming and cursing him for being insensitive.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III took the hint. When the session opened on Wednesday, May 27, Sotto ordered Dela Rosa to attend the session physically on Monday, June 1.
Sotto said this was a "directive" from him, as well as senators Panfilo Lacson, Francis Tolentino, and Sherwin Gatchalian, who all have been attending sessions at the Senate plenary hall.
"We are hereby directing Senator Bato dela Rosa to attend the session on Monday physically, because he is already becoming very popular in social media," Sotto said. "You can enjoy the birthday merienda of Senator Ping Lacson on Monday," he added.
Dela Rosa responded, "Will comply, Mr President."
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri agreed with Sotto's order. "Tama 'yon, Mr President. Para statement 'nya pagkatapos would be, 'Mahirap na ang buhay kasi hanggang alas-diyes na siya sa Senado,'" Zubiri said in jest.
(That's right, Mr President. So his statement after the session would be, 'Life is hard because he has to stay at the Senate until 10 pm.)
The first regular session of the 18th Congress will be adjourned sine die on Saturday next week, June 6.
Sotto said on Wednesday that the chamber plans to tackle next week the revised version of the Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Reform Act, the bill amending the schedule of class opening, and the proposed expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act, among others.
It's not the first time that Sotto schooled Dela Rosa on being a senator.
Last March, Dela Rosa complained that administration senators – the majority – would themselves being the minority in a particular vote, citing the Senate's adoption of a resolution that questions President Rodrigo Duterte's power to unilaterally end treaties.
Sotto responded that neophyte senators should "look back" at previous congresses to learn that the upper chamber is not always subservient to the President. – Rappler.com
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