Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Tuesday said neophyte Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa needs more time to learn about the mandate that has been vested upon them when they entered the institution.
"Later on, he will realize that being a senator is different than being just a follower of the administration," Sotto said in an ambush interview.
"Minsan kasi, pagka you are a fledgling senator, you will probably have, you will need more time to get the in's and out's," he added.
On Monday, Dela Rosa, along with fellow Duterte allies Christopher "Bong" Go, Imee Marcos, Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, Bong Revilla, Francis Tolentino, and Cynthia Villar, voted in abstention for Resolution 337, which seeks clarity on the role of the Senate in the abrogation of treaties.
Twelve others, on the other hand, voted in favor of the resolution. There were no negative votes.
After the voting, Dela Rosa said some of them were feeling like being the "minority" in the chamber.
"On the political side of it, majority against minority, so dapat majority lagi ang dapat mananalo. But we were not able to get the majority vote so meaning, kami na ang minority ngayon sa Senado. Hindi na kami ang majority," Dela Rosa said.
'We are all senators'
But Sotto said that is not the mentality being followed in the Senate.
"Pagkaganoon ang thinking, lahat ng bills na hindi member ng majority ay dapat hindi ma-ano. Lahat ng resolutions ng hindi member ng majority, hindi dapat manalo? Hindi naman tamang thinking 'yun," he said.
"We are all senators, whether we are in the majority or in the minority, we are an officer or not, pare-pareho kaming mga senators. Tigi-tig-isang boto kami, ganun 'yun," he added.
Sotto said it could be the normal thinking of any newbie in the institution.
"Hindi naise-seminar 'yun, natututunan lang 'yun. Mas madali nga lang kung ikaw ay nanggaling sa let’s say sa isang local government legislative body, or nanggaling ka sa House of Representatives, pagdating sa Senate, alam mo na lahat 'yan. Pero siyempre, pag galing ka sa Executive department, medyo iba ang dating sa iyo," he said.
Before entering the Senate, Dela Rosa served as the chief of the Philippine National Police and the Bureau of Corrections under the Duterte administration. — RSJ, GMA News