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Sotto, Zubiri, Koko, Lacson register perfect attendance at Senate sessions

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Four senators registered perfect attendance during the 2nd regular session of the 17th Congress, according to Senate records.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, and Senator Panfilo Lacson all attended the 79 sessions of the chamber.

Sotto, Pimentel, and Lacson were also never late in the session while Zubiri was late once because he was on an official mission but still attended the session.

Sotto said he had always tried to make sure that "I diligently do my work so that the people who voted for me know that their votes were worth it."

Sought for comment, Pimentel said he has “no choice because I was the Senate President for most of the session period.”

“I will give it my best shot because it feels nice to have perfect attendance,” the former Senate leader said in a text message to GMA News Online when asked if he would be able to maintain his record.

Lacson, meanwhile, expressed hope that he would be able to maintain his record in the succeeding sessions.

“Modesty aside, I have also registered perfect punctuality or no tardiness record. I have answered the roll call each and every time. God willing, I hope no health issue will get in the way that would prevent me from maintaining both,” he said in a text message to GMA News Online.

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, on the other hand, was only able to attend 52 sessions. He was on official mission 23 times, of which 20 were out of the country and the others local. He also has four absences.

But Trillanes maintained that he is doing his job even if he is not present at the session hall, adding that he is the most productive senator in terms of bills filed and sponsored.

“Ang hindi narereport is number one ako bilang most productive senator dito sa Congress na ito. So, ‘di ba yun ang mas importante kaysa nakaattend ka nga diyan, araw-araw kang umaattend pero wala ka namang ginagawa,”  he told reporters when asked on the matter on Wednesday.

“I’m the most productive in terms of the numbers of bills filed. I’m in the top five at least sa pinakamaraming sponsored na bills. So, ginagawa ko ‘yung trabaho ko,” he added.

Those who only had one absence at the session hall were Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and  Senators Nancy Binay, who both had an official mission abroad; Gregorio Honasan II, who was on an official mission in the country; and Risa Hontiveros.

Senators Cynthia Villar and Joel Villanueva attended 77 sessions; Senator Grace Poe was present in 76 sessions; Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, 74 sessions; Senator Richard Gordon, 73; Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito, 71; Senator Loren Legarda, 70; Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto, 69; Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino, 68; Senator Juan Edgardo Angara, 67; Senator Francis Escudero, 66; Senator Francis Pangilinan, 65; Senator Manny Pacquiao, 64.

Senator Leila de Lima was not able to attend a single session as she is detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center amid accusations on the proliferation of illegal drug trade during her stint at the Department of Justice. — RSJ, GMA News

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