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Sotto likely to give up Senate leadership post due to stress


Tired and stressed, Senator Vicente Sotto III will most likely give up his post as Senate majority leader in the next Congress.
“Pagod na ako. Ang hirap ng trabaho. Palaging conscientious ka dito. You have to master the art of compromise, pero kung mahirap ang kausap mo, medyo ikaw pa ang nasisisi," Sotto told reporters on Wednesday.  
“There will be an election (of officers) in 16th Congress, then I will inform them that I am not seeking a nomination as chairman of the committee on rules,” he said. 
 
"I am still contemplating. Kumbaga kung hahanapan mo ako ng percentage, 80-20, 80 towards resignation, by July,” he said. The committee on rules chairman also sits as the majority leader.   
 
Sotto has just endured an intense period of controversy that began in mid-August with a series of speeches that were found to have lifted from bloggers and from the late US Senator Robert F. Kennedy. He was also widely blamed for inserting the contentious provision on online libel in the anti-cybercrime law passed in September. He has frequently complained to the Senate media about the harsh treatment he has suffered on social media, calling it cyberbulling. At one time, he branded himself an online whipping boy. Confrontation with Cayetano
 
"Hindi ako makakilos sa gusto kong gawin," Sotto said, explaining his desire to relinquish his Senate position. "Kapag kontra ako sa isang panukalang batas kailangan makisama pa rin ako, kailangan itawag ko, kahit ayoko," he added.
 
On Monday, Sotto had a confrontation with Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano on the floor over the former's alleged efforts to delay the deliberations on the Reproductive Health bill while the passage of the Cybercrime Prevention Act was purportedly railroaded. Sotto is a vocal opponent of the RH bill. 
 
"Kung regular akong senador, magagawa ko lahat ng gusto kong gawin,” Sotto said.
 
He further said the fulfillment he gets as majority leader is not worth the stress he is experiencing.
 
“’Di naman maraming disappointment. Marami ding fulfillment. Kaya lang it is not worth the stress that I am getting," he said.
 
He said he just wants to be an ordinary senator who does not need to please his colleagues. 
 
“Mas gusto ko ‘yung regular senators, hindi ka kailangan makikisama, makikisama ka lamang sa taumbayan na naghalal sa iyo. Wala ka nang ibang dapat pakisamahan. Kung ano ‘yung nasa kalooban mo, (sa) plenaryo, sa Senado, ‘yun ang sasabihin mo,” he added.
 
He said he is envious of Senator Joker Arroyo who does not head any committee.
 
"Bakit si Joker? Naiinggit ako kay Joker," he said.
 
Sotto, who first became known to the public as a comedian, said he tries to make jokes whenever he is presiding to lessen the stress.
 
"I usually do that every now and then just to amuse myself. Binibitawan ko ‘yung hindi mabitawan ng iba,” he said.  –KG, GMA News
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