Sotto defends Duterte's 'power naps' in Singapore
Senate President Vicente Sotto lll (File photo by NIÑO JESUS ORBETA / Philippine Daily Inquirer)
Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III on Saturday downplayed criticisms of President Rodrigo Duterte’s “power naps,” saying: “Hindi dapat ito masamain.”
[These shouldn’t be taken in a bad way.]
Last Nov. 14, on the second day of the 33rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit in Singapore, the President Duterte missed some events attended by other regional leaders reportedly because he took “power naps.”
In an interview with AM radio station DWIZ, Sotto said Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. might have advised the President to not attend some sessions.
“Siguro yung secretary of foreign affairs, na malaki ang tiwala ko, siguradong sinabi sa kanya [Duterte] yun: ‘Ito pwede mo nang hindi puntahan. Ito pwede ito.’ Dapat ganun yun,” he said. “Kaya kung sa pito, apat ang pinuntahan, tatlo ang hindi mahalaga na hindi siya kailangan, na pwedeng representative ang nagpunta.”
[Maybe the secretary of foreign affairs, whom I trust a lot, maybe he told Duterte: ‘You need not go to this one. This one you may.’ It should be that way. So if out of seven, he only attended four, it means three are not so important. So he need not attend it himself, because a representative could go instead.]
Sotto said the President’s critics would take the power naps in a wrong way.
“Depende sa perspective mo. Kung ikaw ay kontra sa Pangulo, kahit anong gawin ng Pangulo ayaw m, di ba? Matulog lang ayaw mo. Parang di pwede siya mag-nap. Sabihin mo bakit: Eh ayaw namin siya. Ganun yung mentality ng iba,” he said.
[It depends on your perspective. If you’re against the President, whatever the President does you would not lie, right? You don’t like him to even sleep. He could not take a nap. But tell me why: ‘Because we don’t like him.’ That’s the mentality of some people.]
Earlier, the President had cut short his trip in Papua New Guinea, venue of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit. But the Palace did not explain the reason behind this.
Sotto said the President probably would want to attend matters related to the extension of martial law in Mindanao.
“Baka nga extension ng martial law. Siguro ipiprisinta sa kanya bago niya iendorso sa Kongreso. Siguro alam niya gipit kami [Senate] sa oras,” he said.
[Maybe it’s about the extension of martial law. Maybe it will be presented to him before he endorses it to Congress. Maybe he’s aware that we in the Senate are pressed for time to take up the matter.]