Amid the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the National Capital Region, Senate President Vicente Sotto III is looking forward to seeing at least 12 senators physically present in the Senate when Congress resumes its session on May 4.

“I will be there and most of the senators. I expect more than 12,” Sotto said on Friday.

A conference will occur at 2 p.m. on Monday and the lawmakers are expected to convene for the plenary session at 3 p.m., according to Sotto.

“We [will] pass resolutions and reference of business,” he said.

Earlier, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon proposed to postpone the May 4 session via teleconference to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection.

“The 4 May session should be held through teleconference, videoconference or other electronic means,” Drilon stated. “The convening and conduct of the May 4 session in the customary manner is high risk.”

As stated in Article VI, Section 16 (3) of the Constitution, Drilon said holding legislative proceedings are up to ‘wisdom’ and judgment of the Senate.

Sotto, on the other hand, opposed the idea and said that the Senate may only apply the rules after amending it on Monday.

“I received his letter to me but I already said that the DOH IATF directive cannot supersede a Constitutional Mandate. We are authorized by the Consti[tution] to formulate our rules, therefore we may do so after we convene on Monday and agree to what the majority decides,” he explained.

“We will allow virtual attendance and participation after Monday,” he added.

Meanwhile, 15 senators namely; Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Senators Sonny Angara, Nancy Binay, Pia Cayetano, Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, Sherwin Gatchalian, Lito Lapid, Imee Marcos, Manny Pacquiao, Grace Poe, Bong Revilla, Joel Villanueva, and Cynthia Villar filed Resolution No. 372, seeking to allow the conduct of plenary sessions and committee hearings via teleconference amidst the continuing COVID-19 threat in the country.  (RJ Espartinez)