Tito Sotto

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Vicente C. Sotto III
Sen. Pres Vicente Sotto (cropped).jpg
Sotto in 2018
29th President of the Senate of the Philippines
Assumed office
May 21, 2018
President Rodrigo Duterte
Preceded by Koko Pimentel
Majority Floor Leader of the Senate of the Philippines
In office
July 25, 2016 May 21, 2018
Preceded by Alan Peter Cayetano
Succeeded by Juan Miguel Zubiri
In office
July 26, 2010 July 22, 2013
Preceded byJuan Miguel Zubiri
Succeeded by Gregorio Honasan (Acting)
Senator of the Philippines
Assumed office
June 30, 2010
In office
June 30, 1992 June 30, 2004
Minority Floor Leader of the Senate of the Philippines
In office
July 28, 2014 August 24, 2015
Preceded by Juan Ponce Enrile
Succeeded by Juan Ponce Enrile
In office
June 3, 2002 July 26, 2004
Preceded by Aquilino Pimentel, Jr.
Succeeded by Aquilino Pimentel, Jr.
Chairman of the Dangerous Drugs Board
In office
Preceded byAnselmo Avenido Jr.
Succeeded byAntonio Villar Jr.
Vice Mayor of Quezon City
In office
February 2, 1988 June 30, 1992
Preceded byElmer Pormiento
Succeeded byCharito Planas
Personal details
Vicente Castelo Sotto III

(1948-08-24) August 24, 1948 (age 70)
Manila, Philippines
Political party NPC (2007–present)
UNA (2013–2015)
LDP (1987–2007)
Spouse(s) Helen Gamboa
Relations Vic Sotto (brother)
Children4 (including Ciara)
Residence Quezon City, Metro Manila
Alma mater Colegio de San Juan de Letran
Net worth 64.7 million (2017) [1]
Military service
AllegianceFlag of the Philippines.svg  Philippines
Branch/service Philippine Army
Philippine Constabulary
Years of service2013–present (PAR)
1998–2013 (PCR)
Rank AFP Lieutenant Colonel Rank Insignia.jpg Lieutenant Colonel
AFP Major Rank Insignia.jpg Major
Commands G4, 1502IBDE, 15ID(RR)
Musical career
Genres OPM, Manila Sound
Occupation(s) Actor, comedian, songwriter, singer, musician, TV host, politician
Years active1960–present
Associated acts VST & Company

Vicente "Tito" Castelo Sotto III (born August 24, 1948) is a Filipino politician and the 29th and current Senate President of the Philippines. Following the 2016 elections, he is currently serving his fourth term in the Senate, having served two consecutive terms from 1992 to 2004; he was re-elected to the Senate in 2010. Prior to serving in the Senate, Sotto was an actor, comedian, songwriter, and bowler before serving as Vice Mayor of Quezon City from 1988 to 1992.

President of the Senate of the Philippines highest ranking-official of the Senate of the Philippines

The President of the Senate of the Philippines, or more popularly known as the Senate President, is the presiding officer and the highest-ranking official of the Senate of the Philippines, and third highest and most powerful official in the Government of the Philippines. He/she is elected by the entire body to be their leader. The Senate President is second in line in succession for the presidency, behind the Vice President of the Philippines and in front of the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines.

Senate of the Philippines the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the Philippines

The Senate of the Philippines is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the Philippines, the Congress; the House of Representatives is the lower house. The Senate is composed of 24 senators who are elected at-large with the country as one district under plurality-at-large voting.

Quezon City Highly Urbanized City in National Capital Region, Philippines

Quezon City is the most populous and a highly urbanized city in the Philippines. It was founded by and named after Manuel L. Quezon, the 2nd President of the Philippines, to eventually replace Manila as the national capital. The city was proclaimed as such in 1948. However, since practically all government buildings are still in Manila, many functions of national government remained there. Quezon City held the status as the official capital until 1976 when a presidential decree was issued to reinstate and designate Manila as the capital and Metro Manila as the seat of government.


Aside from politics, Sotto also participated in acting and hosting. Sotto is a co-host of Eat Bulaga! , the longest-running variety show in Philippine television history. [2] He is the brother of celebrities Vic Sotto, Val Sotto, and Maru Sotto; he is also a grandson and grandnephew of former Senators Vicente Y. Sotto and Filemon Sotto.

<i>Eat Bulaga!</i> Philippine television show

Eat Bulaga! is a Philippine television variety show broadcast by GMA Network. Produced by Television And Production Exponents Inc. (TAPE), it is the longest running noontime show in the Philippines. Hosted by Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon, it premiered on July 30, 1979, and is currently produced from the APT Studios, along Marcos Highway in Cainta, Rizal. The show is also broadcast worldwide through GMA Pinoy TV and live streaming online on YouTube. The name approximately translates to "Lunchtime Surprise!".

Vic Sotto actor from the Philippines

Marvic Valentin Castelo Sotto is a Filipino actor,television presenter, comedian, singer and songwriter. He is known for his various television and film projects on the major Philippine television networks GMA, TV5, and ABS-CBN. He is one of three pioneer hosts of Eat Bulaga!, which is the longest-running Philippine noontime variety show.

Valmar Castelo Sotto, better known as Val Sotto, is a singer, composer, comedian and Filipino actor. He was one of the lead vocalists of the Filipino band VST & Company. He appeared as the lead actor in Agila aired from 1987 to 1992 on RPN and ABS-CBN produced by TAPE Inc.

Early life and education

Vicente Castelo Sotto III was born on August 24, 1948. [2] His parents were Marcelino Antonio Ojeda Sotto and Dr. Herminia Castelo Sotto. [2] His siblings are Valmar (born 1945), Marvic Valentin (born 1954), and Marcelino Antonio Jr. [3]

Sotto's paternal grandfather and namesake was former senator Vicente Sotto (1877–1950). Vicente’s brother, Filemon (1872–1966) also served as a senator and was one of those who drafted the 1935 Constitution. [4] [5]

Vicente Sotto Filipino politician

Vicente Sotto y Yap was a Filipino politician and former Senator of the Philippines. Sotto was the main author of the Press Freedom Law

Sotto studied at Colegio de San Juan de Letran in Intramuros, Manila for his elementary, high school, and college education, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in English. [6]

Colegio de San Juan de Letran private Catholic college in Intramuros, Manila, Philippines

Colegio de San Juan de Letran (CSJL), is a private Roman Catholic Dominican institution of higher learning located in Intramuros, Manila, in the Philippines. The college was founded in 1620. Colegio de San Juan de Letran has the distinction of being the oldest college in the Philippines and the oldest secondary institution in Asia. It is owned and administered by the friars of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) of the Philippine Dominican Province. The school has produced Philippine presidents, revolutionary heroes, poets, legislators, members of the clergy, jurists, and it is also one of the only Philippine schools that has produced several Catholic saints who lived and studied on its campus. The school's patron saint is St. John the Baptist. The campus contains two statues, representing the two foremost alumni in the fields of secular and religious service: former Philippine President Manuel L. Quezon and Vietnamese Saint Vicente Liem de la Paz.

Intramuros Place in National Capital Region, Philippines

Intramuros is the 0.67 square kilometres (0.26 sq mi) historic walled area within the modern city of Manila, the capital of the Philippines. It is administered by the Intramuros Administration (IA), which was created through the Presidential Decree No. 1616 signed on April 10, 1979. IA is tasked to rebuild, redevelop, administer and preserve the remaining pre-war buildings, structures and fortifications of Intramuros.

Manila Capital / Highly Urbanized City in National Capital Region, Philippines

Manila, officially the City of Manila, is the capital of the Philippines. As of 2018 it was the most densely populated city proper in the world. It was the first chartered city by virtue of the Philippine Commission Act 183 on July 31, 1901 and gained autonomy with the passage of Republic Act No. 409 or the "Revised Charter of the City of Manila" on June 18, 1949. Manila, alongside Mexico City and Madrid are considered the world's original set of Global Cities due to Manila's commercial networks being the first to traverse the Pacific Ocean, thus connecting Asia with the Spanish Americas, marking the first time in world history when an uninterrupted chain of trade routes circled the planet. Manila has been damaged by and rebuilt from wars more times than the famed city of Troy and it is also the second most natural disaster afflicted capital city in the world next to Tokyo yet it is simultaneously among the most populous and most wealthy cities in Southeast Asia.

Entertainment career

Sotto's career started in the 1960s when he joined the combo Tilt Down Men, one of the members is his brother Val. The band plays covers of The Dave Clark Five and later he became the vice president of Vicor Music Corporation. Vicor founder Orly Ilacad, had also a career in the 1960s like Sotto, Orly Ilacad & the Ramrods. In 1977 he was the vocalist for the short lived group Bluejeans. He wrote the music for "Balatkayo" by Anthony Castelo which was Castelo's hit. He also formed the Manila Sound group VST & Company on which the meaning of VST were his initials. [2] Among his notable compositions is "Magkaisa", which is recognized as one of the anthems of the 1986 People Power Revolution. [2]

The Dave Clark Five English pop rock group

The Dave Clark Five were an English rock and roll band formed in Tottenham in 1957. In January 1964 they had their first UK top ten single, "Glad All Over", which knocked the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" off the top of the UK Singles Chart. It peaked at number 6 in the United States in April 1964. Although this was their only UK #1, they topped the US chart in December 1965, with their cover of Bobby Day's "Over And Over". Their version of Chet Powers' "Get Together" reached number 8 on the UK Singles Chart retitled as "Everybody Get Together".

Manila Sound is a musical genre in the Philippines that began in the mid-1970s in Manila, the genre flourished and it peaked in the mid to late 1970s. It is often considered the "bright side" of the martial law era and has influenced most of modern genres in the country by being the forerunner to OPM.

VST & Co. were a Filipino disco group formed by Tito Sotto in 1978 who was the vice president of Vicor Music Corporation at that time.

Political career

Quezon City

Sotto was vice mayor of Quezon City from 1988 to 1992. [2] He founded the Vice-Mayors' League of the Philippines and served as its first president. [2] During this period, Sotto was also named Vice Chairman of Citizens' Drugwatch. [2]

First two terms in Senate (1992–2004)

Sotto was elected to the Senate of the Philippines in the 1992 senatorial election, topping the tally with nearly 12 million votes, more than 3 million more than his second place ranker. [2] This made him the third member of his family to enter the Senate, after his grandfather Vicente Yap Sotto and granduncle Filemon Sotto. [2] He served as Assistant Majority Floor Leader, was a member of the Commission on Appointments, and served as chairman on several senate committees. In the 1998 senatorial election, Sotto earned another term in the Senate with a third place finish, the best result among Senators vying for re-election. [2]

From April 30 to May 1, 2001, together with Juan Ponce Enrile, Gregorio Honasan, Panfilo Lacson and Miriam Defensor Santiago, he led the EDSA III protests in support of Joseph Estrada. [7] [8] On May 1, 2001, the protesters stormed Malacañang Palace. [8] In spite of this, he ran for another term in the Senate in 2007 under the TEAM Unity coalition backed by the Arroyo administration, but was unsuccessful, finishing in 19th place. [9]

Arroyo cabinet

Sotto was appointed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as a member of the Board of Directors and acting chairman of the Dangerous Drugs Board on July 4, 2008, succeeding Anselmo Avenido whose term was expiring that day. [10] The appointment was just over one year after his failed 2007 senatorial bid. Philippine election laws forbid defeated candidates from being appointed to government posts within a year of the election. [10]

Third term in Senate (2010–2016)

Sotto won election to another term in the Philippine Senate in the 2010 senatorial election, as a member of the Nationalist People's Coalition.

Upon the commencement of the 15th Congress on July 26, 2010, he was elected by the majority of his fellow Senators as the Majority Leader of the Senate as well as the Chairman of its Committee on Rules, thus he manages the legislative affairs of the Senate, particularly on the floor during the sessions. He was also one of the 20 Senators that voted to convict Chief Justice Renato Corona and to remove him from office on May 29 of that year.

Sotto in 2012 Vicente Sotto III (cropped).jpg
Sotto in 2012

In 2012, Sotto was accused of plagiarizing several passages [11] in a speech opposing the Reproductive Health Bill [12] in the Philippine Senate. [13] [14] [15]

Several local and international news agencies and several internet users reported that Sotto had taken the passages from a 2011 blog entry by Sarah Pope, [16] an American home economist blogger. Sotto asserted that he was quoting Natasha Campbell-McBride, who was referenced in the blog post. [17] [18]

Pope, upon learning of the controversy, confirmed Sotto's plagiarism on August 16, 2012 [19] in another entry to her blog, strongly criticizing Sotto for the plagiarism, for denying it, and for his stance on contraceptives. [20] She also remarked that she did not intend to sue. [20]

Sotto's chief of staff, in a comment on Pope's blog, admitted to using the blog post and failing to attribute Pope's work. [21] [22] Pope responded to the comment again criticizing Sotto's stance on the Reproductive Health Bill. [23]

On August 17, Sotto reasserted his defense saying: "I made a blanket disclosure. I mentioned beforehand my attributions, that I had many sources (of information in my speech) so I have admitted that. I have made a disclosure, so what’s their problem with that? They probably thought I’m trying to pass myself off as knowledgeable (on the subject) when in fact I’m not, supposedly, Where is the plagiarism there? They think that’s plagiarism. So come on, sue me." [24] Villacorta said he saw nothing wrong with using Pope’s blog without attribution because it "is public domain" [25] and "blogs are not covered by copyright. [15] [25] It is a new media and there is no jurisprudence yet." [14] [23] [25] [26] [27] [28] [29] In an interview on the Philippine newscast 24 Oras , Sotto remarked:

"Whatever it is, the buck stops with me, I'm the senator. Whatever I delivered in the Senate Hall is what's important. Whatever they say, we'll take it in stride." [30]

Sotto also reiterated that his privilege speech under the protection of the Article 6 Section 11 of the Philippine Constitution — which states that "No member (of Congress) shall be questioned nor be held liable in any other place for any speech or debate in the Congress or in any committee thereof." [31] [32] In an interview on the Philippine newscast The World Tonight , Pope remarked:

"He is acting as though he's above the law, that he is above copyright law, that he can do whatever he wants, he can step on whoever he wants, to get his agenda through the Philippine legislature. That's just wrong, that's very poor behavior. I hope the Filipino people take note of this behavior and subsequent denial on his bad behavior on the part of Senator Sotto. Think about this when they go to the election booths when he's up for reelection." [33]

A South China Morning Post journalist, Raissa Robles, also pointed out that Sotto plagiarized five bloggers and a briefing paper [34] [35] — which includes a blog titled The Truth of Contraceptives, [36] a blog titled Feminists for Choice, [37] a blog titled Talking Sense by Marlon Ramirez, [38] a New York University blog publishing works by birth control activist Margaret Sanger, [39] and a briefing paper published by the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. [40] Robles also remarked that Sotto would be championing digital piracy, she remarked: "Atty. Villacorta said that the Internet is free. ( sic ) This would mean that Senator Sotto would be championing digital piracy" [41]

Sotto in 2012. Tito Sotto.jpg
Sotto in 2012.

On November 9, 2012, Kerry Kennedy, the daughter of late American senator Robert F. Kennedy and president of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, wrote a public letter to Senator Sotto accusing him of flagrantly and deceptively plagiarizing the Robert F. Kennedy's 1966 Day of Affirmation speech in his remarks to the Philippine Senate last September 5, 2012. [42] Sotto has since issued an apology to the Kennedy family, but tenaciously refused to admit that he committed plagiarism in his speech. Sotto reasoned that the allegedly plagiarized passage was obtained from a text message sent by a Christian leader, which he then translated into Filipino as he found it fit for his speech without knowing that the words were Kennedy's. He also argued that he never claimed the ideas and words as his own, therefore he did not plagiarize. [43]

Sotto was one of the two senators who have inserted provision on libel under the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 or Anti-Cybercrime Law. [44] However, he denied that he did so in retaliation for the "cyberbullying" he received from Filipino netizens who criticized his alleged plagiarisms. Instead, he claimed that he intended to penalize those who release celebrity sex tapes and to allow the corresponding victims to seek redress. [45] [46] [47]

In July 2013, at the end of the 15th congress, Sotto resigned as the Majority Leader following the resignation of Juan Ponce Enrile, his staunch political mentor, as Senate President. Enrile resigned due to allegations of misusing the Senate funds. Then assistant majority leader Senator Gregorio Honasan became the acting Majority Leader following Sotto's resignation. [48]

On the commencement of the session of the 16th Congress, on July 22, 2013, Sotto became part of the new Senate minority group. [49] He was chosen by his colleagues in the minority to be the Deputy Floor Leader, second-in-command to Enrile who became the Minority Leader. On July 2014, following Enrile's arrest on charges of plunder relating to the pork barrel scam, Sotto became the acting Minority Floor Leader. [50] Enrile resumed his position as the Minority Floor Leader after he was granted bail by the Supreme Court in August 2015. [51]

In 2013, Sotto filed a bill that would mandate all government and non-government employees to receive a 14th month of annual salary. [52] Responding to the Department of Labor and Employment claims that the bill would worsen unemployment if implemented, Sotto said that the existing 13th month pay is not truly a bonus because there are actually 13 months in a year. [52] "There are 52 weeks in a year divide it by four weeks in a month. Thirteen months." [52]

Fourth term in Senate (2016–present)

Sotto in 2016. Tito Sotto 2016.jpg
Sotto in 2016.

Senator Sotto was re-elected in the 2016 elections. With 17.2 million votes, he finished in third place for the twelve contested senate seats. [53] [54] On July 25, 2016, during the opening of the 17th Congress, Sotto was again elected as Majority Leader. [55] He was also elected as chairman of the Senate committee on rules and the Senate committee on ethics and privileges. [55] [56] [57] Being a member of the NPC, Sotto is part of the "supermajority" coalition led by the PDP–Laban, the political party of President Rodrigo Duterte and Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III. [55] [58]

Sotto has expressed his support for the revival of the death penalty, but only for "high level drug trafficking". [59] [60] [61]

On May 3, 2017, during the Commission on Appointments' (CA) hearing on Judy Taguiwalo's appointment as Secretary of Social Welfare and Development, Sotto, a member of the CA, made controversial remarks which seemed to belittle Taguiwalo for being a single parent. [62] [63] [64] [65] [66]

An excerpt of his conversation with Taguiwalo during the televised hearing circulated online and drew criticisms from social media users: [62] [63] [64] [65] [66]

SOTTO: On the lighter side, Senator Drilon and I were looking at the personal information about you and you have two children, daughters ba or sons?

TAGUIWALO: Two daughters.

SOTTO: Two daughters. But you're single?

TAGUIWALO: My life has never been a normal one. I never had a whole father-mother-children kind of thing, except when I was growing up in Bacolod. Remember, I graduated from UP in 1970. I did organizing work. From 1972 up to the 1986, it has been life underground or in prison. So, well, my story would be different from the stories of those who have gone through UP, a corporation, et cetera.

SOTTO: Ah, in street language, when you have children and you’re single ang tawag diyan "na-ano lang". (we call that "just got knocked up")

[Soft laughter from the audience]

SOTTO: Thank you, you have my 100 percent support, madam secretary.

TAGUIWALO: Senator Sotto, I teach women's studies, so we respect all kinds of families and that includes solo parents. Thank you. [62] [63] [64] [65] [66] [67]

One of Taguiwalo’s daughters demanded a public apology from Sotto over his offensive remarks, asserting that "no woman deserves that kind of treatment". [66] The Gabriela Women's Party also demanded for a public apology, claiming that Sotto "went out of bounds" insulting solo parents and insinuating malice at Taguiwalo. [65] [63] [68] The Commission on Human Rights condemned the event saying: "It is deplorable that such a comment came from an elected senator and that it elicited laughter from the halls of the Congress. The incident shows how those charged by law to protect women from discrimination often forget and unwittingly become promoters of discrimination themselves". [69] A statement from the Philippine Commission on Women called the incident "a mockery of a woman’s circumstance as a solo parent as [the] status has nothing to do with her professional qualifications." [69] Representatives Antonio Tinio (ACT Teachers Partylist) and Ariel Casilao (Anakpawis) deprecated the behavior of their colleagues in Congress for tolerating Sotto's remarks. [69] Filipino netizens also criticized Sotto, who became a trending topic on Twitter that day. [62] [64] [70] Some social media users even reminded him that his daughter, Ciara Sotto, is also a single mother. [71] Singer-actress Lea Salonga, who was single-handedly raised by her mother, decried Sotto's remarks. Celebrity single mothers Pokwang, LJ Reyes, Geneva Cruz, and Claudine Barretto also denounced Sotto's remarks and expressed support for their fellow single mothers. [72] [73]

In an interview after the hearing, Sotto apologized and claimed that Taguiwalo was not offended by his remarks. He reasoned that perhaps people were just "overly sensitive" and did not "understand the joke". [63] [67] [74] [75] He also added:

"I will be the last person in this country to disrespect a woman because my mother was one of the founders of the Women's Rights Movement … I have two daughters who are separated, single, and have children so I don’t think there should be big fuss about it." [63] [67] [75]

On May 4, Secretary Judy Taguiwalo accepted Sotto's apology, but clarified that "the apology does not fully capture the extent of the gravity of what his 'joke' implied." She also asserted that despite accepting Sotto's apology, she will not tolerate misogyny, anti-women comments, and attacks towards solo parents. Taguiwalo also thanked Sotto for supporting her confirmation as DSWD secretary. She, however, also thanked those who expressed their condemnation of Sotto’s statements, and those who supported her and all solo parents. [76] [77]

Despite Sotto’s apology, and Taguiwalo’s acceptance thereof, eight women's and workers’ groups filed an ethics complaint against the senator on May 10, 2017. Among these groups were Coalition Against Trafficking in Women - Asia Pacific and Partido ng Manggagawa. The said groups claimed that the aforementioned apology was insincere and that Sotto normalized patriarchal views and trivialized the abandonment of responsibility over children. The complaint was filed with the Senate committee on ethics and privileges, of which Sotto is the chairman. Sotto welcomed the complaint and declared his intention to go on leave from his committee as soon as he receives the complaint officially. [78] [79] [80]

On May 9, the Federation of Solo Parents in Luz vi min (FSPL) approached Senator Sotto in his office and requested his support for the passage of amendments to Republic Act No. 8972, or the Solo Parents Welfare Act of 2000. These amendments included discounts on medicine, hospitalization fees, clothing, tuition, milk, and vitamins for solo parents and their children. In a statement, Sotto said that he is "ready and willing" to fight for the rights of single parents and assured the group that the amendments will be passed before December 2017. [81] [82] [83]

On August 7, 2017, Sotto filed a resolution for the Senate Blue Ribbon committee to investigate the alleged unexplained wealth of Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista. [84] [85]

Political views and positions

Sotto has been described as a conservative by the local media [86] [87] [88] [89] [90] because of his positions regarding social issues, owing to his Roman Catholic background. He has vocally expressed his opposition against measures on reproductive health and women's rights. [91] [92]

Sotto supports the Death Penalty, In 2018 he said he will support the imposition of death penalty for “high-level drug trafficking.” [93]


Issues surrounding the Pepsi Paloma rape case

In 1982, the 15-year old actress Pepsi Paloma accused Sotto's brother Vic Sotto and comedians Joey de Leon and Richie D'Horsie of gang raping and taking photos of her on June 21 in a room at the Sulo Hotel in Quezon City. [94] On July 31, dela Cruz lodged a formal complaint with Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile. On August 18, Paloma filed charges of rape and acts of lasciviousness against the three television personalities before the Quezon City fiscal's office. [95] The crime of rape at the time, carried the death penalty in the Philippines, and to prevent his brother and cohorts from being sent to the electric chair, Sotto quickly went to see Paloma while she was still securing the services of Atty. Rene Cayetano. According to Paloma, Sotto coerced her into signing an "Affidavit of Desistance" to drop the rape charges against his brother and cohorts [96] -- Sotto had allegedly placed a pistol on the table in front of Paloma when he went to talk to her. [97]

In exchange for the dismissal of the charges of rape, Vic Sotto, de Leon and D'Horsie issued a public apology towards Paloma stating:

"We hope that you will not allow the error we have committed against you to stand as a stumbling block to that future which we all look forward to. We therefore ask you to find it in your heart to pardon us for the wrong which we have done against you." [98]

Three years later, Paloma was found dead in an apparent suicide. [99] Dela Cruz was murdered years later. [100]

On May 29, 2018, Sotto made a request to the online news site Inquirer.net to have the March 2014 articles by United States-based columnist Rodel Rodis removed: "The rape of Pepsi Paloma" and "Was Pepsi Paloma murdered?" which stated that he used his political connections to influence the outcome of the Pepsi Paloma rape case. [101] After 34 years, in March 2016, Sotto denied involvement in the Pepsi Palom rape case stating that it was a gimmick of Paloma's talent manager, Rey dela Cruz. [102]

In response, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) asked "Does he believe his status and authority as Senate President give him better chances of having the stories taken down?" [103]

On July 4, 2018, Inquirer.net took down the articles that Sotto had requested to be removed from their website. [104] [105] The NUJP condemned the takedown and issued a statement calling it "one of the darkest days in the annals of Philippine journalism". [106]

As an unintended example of the Streisand effect, Sotto's takedown request of the Inquirer.net articles renewed public interest in the Paloma gang rape case. [107]

Personal life

Sotto is married to Helen Gamboa, a beauty queen, actress, and singer. [2] [3] They have four children: Romina, Diorella Maria, Gian Carlo and Ciara; eight grandsons: Romino Vicente, Victorio, Vicente IV, Carlos Edrigu, Alessandro Jose, Marciano, Juan Rossano, and Vincenzo Jose; and two granddaughters: Helena and Amaria Jiliana. [2] [3]

Actors Oyo Boy Sotto and Miko Sotto (1982–2003) are his nephews. Actress Danica Sotto is his niece. Radio-television personality Ali Sotto is the former wife his brother, Maru. [3] Singer-actress Sharon Cuneta is also his niece (her mother, Elaine Gamboa, is a sister of Sotto’s wife, Helen Gamboa). [108]

In the 2016 elections, his son Gian Carlo was elected councilor of Quezon City's 3rd District, while his daughter Diorella Maria was elected in the 6th District of the same city. His nephews Vico Sotto and Viktor Eriko "Wahoo" Sotto were elected councilors in Pasig and Parañaque respectively. [109]

He is an avid bowler and was a member of the Philippine national bowling team, representing the country several times at the AMF World Cup. [2] Presently, he is the chairman of the Philippine Bowling Federation (PBF). [110]

He also plays golf and has won several tournaments. [2] He is Catholic. [6]


TV shows

1994–2000 Brigada Siete Host/Anchor GMA Network
1994–1997Mixed N.U.T.S. (Numero Unong Terrific Show!)Various
1994–1995Rock and Roll 2000Himself ABC
1992–1993TVJ on 5Various ABC (now TV5)
1991–1993TVJ: Television JestersVarious IBC
1987Hapi House IBC
1979–present (appeared on special occasions only) Eat Bulaga! Host RPN (1979–1989); ABS-CBN (1989–1995); GMA Network (1995–present)
1978–1990 Iskul Bukol Tito Escalera IBC
1976–1977 Student Canteen Host GMA Network

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2010 Philippine Senate election

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Mocha Uson Filipina singer, dancer, model, controversial blogger, and former appointive public official

Esther Margaux "Mocha" Justiniano Uson known mononymously as Mocha, is a Filipina singer, dancer, model, controversial blogger, and former appointive public official. She is also co-founder of the group Mocha Girls.

These are the people who, at one time or another, had been considered, announced, declined or withdrew his or her candidacy in the Philippine Senate election, 2013.

Leni Robredo Filipino politician

Maria Leonor "Leni" Gerona vda. de Robredo is a Filipina lawyer and social activist who is the 14th and current Vice President of the Philippines. Running under the Liberal Party, Robredo won the vice-presidency contest in the May 9, 2016 election, as confirmed and proclaimed by the official Congressional count of May 25–27, with 14,418,817 votes, narrowly defeating Senator Bongbong Marcos by 263,473 votes amid controversy. She is the second woman to serve as Vice President after Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and the first Vice President from Bicol.

Grace Poe Filipino politician

Mary Grace Poe-Llamanzares is a Filipina senator, businesswoman, educator, and philanthropist. She is the adopted daughter of actors Susan Roces and Fernando Poe Jr. She served as chairperson of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) from 2010 to 2012 and in the Philippine Senate since 2013.

Nancy Binay Filipino politician

Maria Lourdes Nancy Sombillo Binay-Angeles is a Filipino politician and legislator who is currently serving as a Senator of the Philippines. She is the daughter of former Vice President Jejomar Binay. Without any prior experience, Binay placed a bid for a seat in the Senate in the 2013 general elections and won placing fifth overall. After being elected, Binay chaired both the Cultural Communities and the Tourism Commitees of the Senate in the 17th Congress. Binay seeks to be re-elected in the upcoming 2019 general election for a second consecutive term.

2016 Philippine Senate election

The 2016 election of members to the Senate of the Philippines was the 32nd election of members to the Senate of the Philippines. The seats of 12 senators elected in 2010 were filled during this election. The winners in this election joined the winners of the 2013 election to form the 17th Congress of the Philippines. The senators elected in 2013 will serve until June 30, 2019, while the senators elected in this election will serve up to June 30, 2022.

Richie D'Horsie was a Filipino actor and comedian.

Pepsi Paloma was a Filipino-American dancer and actress in the Philippines. She was one of the popular Softdrinks Beauties introduced in the 1980s along with Sarsi Emmanuelle and Coca Nicolas. She was known for films such as Brown Emanuelle (1981), The Victim (1982), Krus sa Bawat Punglo (1982) and Room 69 (1985).

17th Congress of the Philippines

The Seventeenth Congress of the Philippines is the current meeting of the national legislature of the Republic of the Philippines, composed of the Senate and House of Representatives. The convention of the 17th Congress was followed by the 2016 Senate election, which will replace half of the Senate membership, and the 2016 House of Representatives elections which elected the entire membership of the House of Representatives.

Protests against Rodrigo Duterte Political protests against Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte

The protests against Rodrigo Duterte, the 16th President of the Philippines, began on November 18, 2016, following the burial of late president Ferdinand Marcos, whom Duterte supported. These series of protests are conducted by several left and right-wing groups and other opponent figures mainly due to ongoing war on drugs, martial law in the Mindanao, employment issues such as contractual term being applied by the company and increasing basic goods and inflation due to Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act.

The SOGIE Equality Bill, also known as the Anti-Discrimination Bill (ADB), is a proposed legislation of the Congress of the Philippines. It is intended to prevent various economic and public accommodation-related acts of discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. The current versions of the bill are championed by Kaka Bag-ao, Geraldine Roman, and Tom Villarin in the House of Representatives, and Risa Hontiveros in the Senate. The version in the House of Representative passed its final reading last September 20, 2017, while the version in the Senate is currently in the period of interpolation.

The Philippine Department of Health (DOH), in late November 2017, temporarily suspended a school-based dengue vaccination program after French drug based vaccine maker Sanofi Pasteur made a statement that its product poses higher risks to people without prior dengue infection. As a result, the Dengvaxia controversy, or Dengvaxia mess, began to emerge following the reports of several children dying from various complications allegedly attributed to the dengue vaccine.

The 2019 Philippine general election was conducted on May 13, 2019. A midterm election, those elected therein will take office on June 30, 2019, midway through the term of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The ouster plot against Rodrigo Duterte conspiracy theories is a purported plan to overthrow Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte made by several opposition figures, including the universities in the country, since September 2018. The plan was first publicized by the military. Several opposition groups who have been tagged heavily criticized the inclusion, mostly called it "baseless" and subsequently denied the involvement in the plot. On April and May 2019, Malacañang Palace released the diagrams, called "Oust Duterte matrix", containing the alleged destabilization efforts made by the media organizations and journalists and later the opposing political parties; Malacañang claimed that the source of the diagram is from the President Duterte "himself".


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Political offices
Preceded by
Elmer Pormiento
Vice Mayor of Quezon City
Succeeded by
Charito Planas
Preceded by
Aquilino Pimentel, Jr.
Minority Floor Leader of the Senate of the Philippines
Succeeded by
Aquilino Pimentel, Jr.
Preceded by
Anselmo Avenido Jr.
Chairman of Dangerous Drugs Board
Succeeded by
Antonio Villar Jr.
Preceded by
Juan Miguel Zubiri
Majority Floor Leader of the Senate of the Philippines
Succeeded by
Gregorio Honasan
Preceded by
Juan Ponce Enrile
Minority Floor Leader of the Senate of the Philippines

Succeeded by
Juan Ponce Enrile
Preceded by
Alan Peter Cayetano
Majority Floor Leader of the Senate of the Philippines
Succeeded by
Juan Miguel Zubiri
Preceded by
Aquilino Pimentel III
President of the Senate of the Philippines
Order of precedence
Preceded by
Fidel Ramos
as Former President
Order of Precedence of the Philippines
as President of the Senate of the Philippines
Succeeded by
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
as Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines
Lines of succession
Preceded by
Leni Robredo
as Vice President
Philippine presidential line of succession
as President of the Senate of the Philippines
Succeeded by
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
as Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines