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Bawal absent! Tito Sotto: Senators must be physically present for May 4 resumption of session

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Senators must be physically present when sessions resume at the Senate on May 4 despite the threat of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said Friday (May 1).

In a statement, Sotto said senators have to be at the Senate so they can pass the proposed resolution to allow the conduct of sessions and committee hearings via teleconferencing.

“Attendance via teleconferencing will only be allowed after the passage of a resolution allowing such,” he said.

Fifteen senators led by Sotto have filed a resolution to amend Senate rules to allow the conduct of sessions and committee hearings via teleconferencing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sotto bucked the view of Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, who argued that there’s no need for senators to pass the resolution.

“Some wise guy in the future can question our proceedings if I agree to Frank’s proposition. We will allow virtual attendance and participation after Monday,” he said.

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