Senators clarify reso on killings did not reach their office; Sotto to file libel vs. Silent No More PH blog

Seven senators of the majority bloc complained about being called “Malacañang dogs” by the blog Silent No More PH, including Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, who threatened to file a libel case against the people behind the blog.
“I have never seen this shadow of this resolution. Hindi dumaan sa opisina ko ‘yan I did not sign?” Sotto said in his privilege speech.

“I will request to direct the Senate secretariat to investigate who’s behind prostituting this resolution and use the NBI Cybercrime Division because I will be very kind. I will just file a cyber libel case against these people,” Sotto added.

Sotto was not able to sign the resolution, which they later learned was drafted by Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, because it did not reach their office.

Aside from Sotto, the other senators who were not able to sign the resolution included Senate President Koko Pimentel, Cynthia Villar, Richard Gordon, Manny Pacquiao, Juan Miguel Zubiri, and Gregorio Honasan.
This caused the blog to criticize the seven senators who were unable to sign the resolution to urge the government to stop the killings of minors in a September 26 article titled “Malacañang dogs in the Senate: Pimentel, Sotto, Gordon, Villar, Zubiri, Honasan, Pacquiao.”

“These senators have shown us their true colors. Their loyalty is to the palace, not to Filipino people whose votes gave them mandate to begin with,” the blog wrote.

The blog went on to slam the senators for not signing the resolution.

“These senators’ votes are reflective of their stance: They don’t care about lives. They don’t want to hold this government accountable. They only care about their alliance with Malacanang,” it said.

Pangilinan explained why his resolution did not reach the offices of the other senators. He said he decided to file the resolution without the intention of putting the other senators in a bad light because he had enough signatures and he was rushing to leave.

“If other senators felt that there was an attempt not to include them that is not the case. We did not intentionally exclude anyone. It’s just that at that point, I had to leave early. Considering we had several session days to go, there are, we decided let’s go ahead and file it,” he said.

Pimentel, Pacquiao, and Gordon said that they would have signed the resolution had they seen it.

Zubiri said that he felt like being “stabbed in the back” for not being informed about the resolution, while Villar claimed that a social media source told her two senators are out to “destroy” them. She later revealed the two senators to be Senators Bam Aquino and Risa Hontiveros.

“It’s really somebody from social media saying two senators are going to destroy us. I did not believe it. When I saw that blog, it was really true. Bam and Risa will try to destroy us. I did not believe it. It did not come from me,” Villar said.

“I kept quiet, I did not believe it. Maybe this is the beginning of that warning, that is my manifestation,” Villar added.

But Aquino and Hontiveros deny plotting to destroy any of their fellow senators.

Senator Joel Villanueva once again brought up the need to pass a law against the spread of fake news.

“The epidemic of malicious fake news especially online should not be taken lightly.

It’s time to tackle Senate Bill No. 1492 or the Anti-Fake News Bill to promote responsible use of social media and other platforms,” Villanueva said in a statement on September 27.

“Hence, we will ask the Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media chaired by Sen. Grace Poe to include our bill when the Committee holds an inquiry on the said malicious post,” he added.

The seven senators also filed their own resolution against extrajudicial killings.

Aside from the seven lawmakers, other senators from the majority bloc also signed the resolution, including Senators Sonny Angara, JV Ejercito, Nancy Binay, Sherwin Gatchalian, Grace Poe, Francis Escudero, Panfilo Lacson, Ralph Recto, and Loren Legarda.

Sources: ( , , )

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Judy Taguiwalo

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