Sotto: Even minority senators back Enrile

Posted at 09/21/2012 4:50 PM | Updated as of 09/22/2012 3:40 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV's decision to leave the Senate's majority group won't affect other senators' support for the chamber's leadership, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said on Friday.

Sotto told reporters in a phone interview that even the minority group--composed of Senators Alan Cayetano, Pia Cayetano, and Joker Arroyo--supports Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.

Enrile was elected Senate President at the beginning of the 15th Congress by what some senators call a "super majority."

"Under JPE's watch, wala naman talagang minority. Napilitan lang kami maglagay ng minority," Sotto said. "There's a thin, gray line between  the majority and minority under JPE's watch."

Sotto added that Trillanes will remain chairman of his committees even if he has joined the minority.

With Trillanes leaving the majority, Sotto said the Senate may already have a real minority. But he doesn't think it's necessary.

"Hindi naman talaga kailangan ng minority kung mayro'ng mga senador na marunong mag-fiscalize," he said.

Sotto downplayed rumored plots to remove Enrile from the Senate Presidency, saying even the administration believes in Enrile's leadership.

But he said he won't block any attempt to change the Senate's leadership.

"Welcome sa amin 'yon. Hindi naman kami kapit-tuko eh," Sotto said.