Sen. Vicente C. Sotto III

About Tito Sotto

ACCOMPLISHED

 

ACCOMPLISHED STUDENT

While Tito Sotto was in the makings of a musician, he gave importance to his studies as well. He believes that education is a most precious treasure.

Sotto has been loyal to the Colegio de San Juan de Letran as a student. He graduated there from grade school in 1960, from high school in 1964, and from college with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, major in English, in 1969.

In college, Tito was able to juggle his schedule well. From 1964 to 1966, he still managed to be a part of Letran’s varsity team in bowling, a sport in which he excels up to this day.

Sotto believes that education is a continuing process throughout life. And to supplement his skills as a public servant, he finished the Executive Program for Leaders in Development at the John F. Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University. He graduated from the institution in June 2000.

 

SOTTO THE SPORTSMAN

Since playing as part of the varsity bowling team of the Letran Knights in the NCAA (1964-1966), Tito Sotto continued to practice and show his athletic acumen in the sport. He represented the Philippines as part of the national bowling team for seven times, and he won gold medals in international competitions for several times. He represented the national team at the AMF Bowling World Cup in Bogota, Colombia (1978) and in Sydney, Australia (1984)

Besides bowling, Tito also plays golf nowadays. He is also good in the sport, as he dominated the Class A division of the 2nd Omega Cup held in 2005 at the Rancho Palos Verdes in Davao City. He continues to play the sport today not only as his way to relax but also as a bonding moment to spend with his family. At  present, as an avid golfer, he carries a respectable  6-handicap.

 

LEADERSHIP SKILLS AND POLITICAL CAREER

  • As Vice Mayor of Quezon City
    • Garnered a landslide victory on his first entry into local politics as vice mayor
    • Founded and organized the Quezon City Anti-Drug Abuse Council, which was replicated in other major cities and other local governments nationwide (served as its chair from 1988 to 1992)
    • Was also chair of the City Sports Development Council from 1988 to 1992
    • Founded the Vice Mayors League of the Philippines and served as its first president
  • As Senator
    • Has authored and sponsored 103 laws during his two terms as Senator
    • Has filed a total of 377 bills and two resolutions from the Ninth (9th) to Twelfth (12th) Congresses. More than 100 of these became laws.
    • Has also served as Assistant Minority Floor Leader and member of the Senate Electoral Tribunal

 

SOTTO AGAINST DRUGS

Sotto later appeared in a film documentary, “Drug-Free Philippines,” which was released in February 1996.

With his efforts, he also constructed the first and only Women and Children’s Crisis Center in the Philippines to help women and children who were once involved in illegal drugs. It is located at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu.

 

SOTTO THE MUSICIAN

While Tito Sotto was more popular as a member of the group VST & Co., he did not actually start with this group. He was first became a part of the 60’s combo group The Tilt-Down Men. The group became one of the most popular combos of the late 1960’s. It was during their radio station tours that he first met Joey de Leon who was a DJ then in a radio station.

Tito then organized VST & Co. in the 1970s, when the group became very popular. VST is the acronym for the group’s three foremost members: Vic Sotto, Spanky Rigor and Tito himself. Despite his low voice, Tito provided the support high falsetto voice for Vic in some of VST & Co.’s songs. Spanky provided the higher falsetto voice.

But Sotto was not only hooked to singing. He is an all-around musician, as he can compose, write lyrics, produce and arrange songs as well. In the registry of Original Pilipino Music, around 80 songs were attributed to Tito Sotto, which he sung, composed, wrote the lyrics or arranged.

Some of the songs he composed include “Dakilang Lahi” (which became one of the official songs of the 1998 Philippine Centennial Independence Celebrations) and “Magkaisa,” which is better known as the official anthem of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution. Sotto discovered the singer behind “Magkaisa,” Virna Lisa Loberiza, when he spotted her singing in an event in Adamson University in Manila. Virna Lisa was only given a few hours to rehearse the song before recording it. Sotto eventually won a Catholic Mass Media Award for composing the nationalist song.

His experience in music was not only limited on the songs themselves. He was later exposed to the promotion of songs and singers as well. He had a recording studio, Tasha Recording Studio (where he served as president), and was also the vice president for production of Vicor Music Corporation, one of the country’s premier recording labels. Under his stint, he was able to successfully promote the careers of some well-known artists like Pops Fernandez, VST & Co. (of which he is also a member), Rico J. Puno, Sharon Cuneta and Freddie Aguilar. He also promotes today the singing career of his youngest child, Ciara Sotto.

 

TITO ALSO WRITES

It seemed that writing prowess runs in the veins of the Sottos. Just like his grandfather, journalist and later Senator Vicente Sotto, Tito wrote two books inspired by his nationalist sense and anti-drugs campaign: “A Vision for a Drug-Free Philippines” (published in January 1994) and “The Filipino: Values and Visions” (published in January 1997).

 

THE SOTTO FAMILY

Tito Sotto has four children. His second daughter, Diorella Sotto-de Leon, is currently councilor in Quezon City’s third district. This 2010, his only son, Gian Sotto, will vie for a seat in the said district in an attempt to succeed his elder sister.

He is also wed to actress-beauty queen Helen Gamboa-Sotto. Of his wife, he said: “She doesn’t exactly like politics. She prays a lot. She handles it well because since she tries to find out what I am doing and the things about it, but she doesn’t meddle at all. I think that’s the best…that’s probably the reason she’s not that worried.”

 

INTERESTING TRIVIA

  • Tito Sotto has an interest in amateur radio for civic purposes. He even served as President of Ham Radio Philippines.
  • Sotto is also active in the Boy Scouts movement. He in fact became board member of the Metro Manila North Council of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines.
  • Sotto has the rank of major in the reserve command of the Philippine Constabulary (now part of the Philippine National Police). He was inducted to the rank by then National Defense Secretary (later President) Fidel V. Ramos in October 1990.
  • Tito Sotto is active in the following organizations:
    • International Narcotics Enforcement Officers Association (member)
    • International Association of Chiefs of Police (member)
    • Citizens’ Drug Watch Foundation (vice chair)
  • The comebacking senatorial candidate was also a member of the board of directors of Arellano University in Nueva Ecija.

 

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

  • Outstanding Professional Alumnus Award for Entertainment and Public Service, 1993 (awarded by the Letran Alumni Association, Inc.)
  • International Award of Honor (twice awarded, later Hall of Fame awardee) in 1991 and 1996, given by the International Narcotics Enforcement Officers Association

 

CITATIONS

  • Gawad Sagisag Quezon (02 August 2009) for composing nationalist songs like “Magkaisa” and “Dakilang Lahi,” and for using the Filipino language as much as possible in his orders/memoranda as DDB chair (awarded by the Manuel L. Quezon University during the 2009 celebration of Buwan ng Wika)
Republic Act

 

Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002

This comprehensive law, which calls for the support of all sectors in the fight against illegal drugs, imposes life imprisonment, death penalty and/or million-peso fines as maximum penalties to drug pushers, users and caretakers of drug dens. It creates the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) to formulate policies on drug abuse and prevention, and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) as the implementing arm of the DDB.

Family Courts Act of 1997

The legislation calls for the creation of a special court called the “Family Court” in each province and city throughout the country. All Family Courts are given the duty to hear and decide on cases regarding family matters, such as those on youth offenders below the age of 18, custody and adoption of children, annulment of marriage, child abuse, and domestic violence against women and children, among others.

Overseas Absentee Voting Law

This act gives chance to all overseas Filipinos to register and cast their ballots for the national elections in the Philippine embassy or consulate nearest their location or place of work. It also looks forward to other possible secure methods of voting, such as through e-mail or the Internet.

Expanded Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education Act

This law amended Republic Act No. 6728, which set the standards for financial assistance to private school students and teachers. It makes the scholarships accessible to more poor students. It also expands financial support to teachers for their training (In-service Training Fund) and involvement in scholarship programs (Teachers’ Salary Subsidy Fund). The law, however, protects scholarship programs from corruption and guarantees fair educational support by ensuring that the subsidies for private schools are not higher than that for public schools.

Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998

This law amended Republic Act No. 6728, which set the standards for financial assistance to private school students and teachers. It makes the scholarships accessible to more poor students. It also expands financial support to teachers for their training (In-service Training Fund) and involvement in scholarship programs (Teachers’ Salary Subsidy

Seat Belts Use Act

The law requires drivers and front seat passengers of all vehicles to wear their seat belts at all times. It prohibits children to occupy the front seat, and it mandates car manufacturers to install on all automobiles the standard seat belt designs approved by the government. Finally, it mandates the Land Transportation Office to impose the penalties and fines for those who will violate the law.

Amending Section 324(d) of the Local Government Code of 1991

This gives authority to local government officials to use their Calamity Funds immediately in local disasters and in relief operations for fires without waiting for the President to declare a “state of calamity” over the affected areas.

Senate Bill No. 42
AMMENDMENT TO THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE OF 1991

SECTION 1. Section 150 of Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as The Local Government Code of 1991, is hereby amended to read as follows:

“Section 150, (a) For purposes of collection of the taxes under Section 143 of this Code, manufacturers, assemblers, repackers, brewers, distillers, rectifiers and compounders of liquor, distilled spirits and wines, millers, producers, exporters, wholesalers, distributors, dealers, contractors, banks and other financial institutions, and other businesses, maintaining or operating branch or sales outlet elsewhere shall record the sale in the branch or sales outlet making the sale or transaction, and the tax thereon shall accrue and shall be paid to the municipality where such branch or sales outlet is located. In cases where there is no such branch or sales outlet in the city or municipality where the sale or transaction is made, the sale shall be duly recorded in the principal office and the taxes due shall accrue and shall be paid to such city or municipality,

(b) The following sales allocation shall apply to manufacturers, assemblers, contractors, producers, and exporters with factories, project offices, plants, and plantations in the pursuit of their business:

(1) {TEN PERCENT (10%)} of all sales recorded in the prinCipal office shall be taxable by the city or municipality where the principal office is located; and

(2) {NINETY PERCENT (90%)} of all sales recorded in the principal office shall be taxable by the city or municipality where the factory, project office, plant, or plantation is located. 2

(c) In case of a plantation located at a place other than the place where the factory is located, said {NINETY PERCENT (90%)} mentioned in subparagraph (b) of subsection (2) above shall be divided as follows:

(1) Sixty percent (60%) to the city or municipality where the factory is located; and

(2) Forty percent (40%) to the city or municipality where the plantation is located.

(d) In cases where a manufacturer, assembler, producer, exporter or contractor has two (2) or more factories, project offices, plants, or plantations located in different localities, the {NINETY. PERCENT (90%)} sales allocation mentioned in subparagraph (b) of subsection (2) above shall be prorated among the localities where the factories, project offices, plants, and plantations are located in proportion to their respective volumes of production during the period for which the tax is due.

(e) The foregoing sales allocation shall be applied irrespective of whether or not sales are made in the locality where the factory, project office, plant, or plantation is located.

SECTION 2. Repealing Clause. All laws, executive orders, rules and regulations or any part thereof inconsistent herewith are deemed repealed, modified or amended accordingly.

SECTION 3. Separability Clause. In case any provision of this Act is declared unconstitutional or invalid, the other provisions hereof which are not affected thereby shall continue in full force and effect. SECTION 4. Effectivity – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in two (2) national newspapers of general circulation.

Senate Bill No. 41
AMMENDMENT TO THE SOTTO LAW RA 53

Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

SECTION 1. Section 1 of Republic Act No. 53, otherwise known as “An Act to Exempt the Publisher, Editor or Reporter of any Publication from Revealing the Source of Published News or Information Obtained in Confidence” is hereby amended to read as follows:

“Section 1. The publisher, editor, {STATION MANAGER, PRODUCER, NEWS DIRECTOR,} or duly accredited reporter of any {PRINT, BROADCAST OR ELECTRONIC MASS MEDIA, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO,} newspaper, magazine or periodical of general circulation, {RADIO, TELEVISION, CABLE, INTERNET SITE AND OTHER ELECTRONIC MEDIA OUTLET} cannot be compelled to reveal the source of any news-report or information appearing in said publication which was related in confidence to such publisher, editor or reporter, unless the court or a House or committee of Congress finds that such revelation is demanded by the interest of the State.”

SECTION 2. Repealing Clause. All laws, executive orders, rules and regulations or any part thereof inconsistent herewith are deemed repealed, modified or amended accordingly.

SECTION 3. Separability Clause. In case any provision of this Act is declared unconstitutional or invalid, the other prOVisions hereof which are not affected thereby shall continue in full force and effect.

SECTION 4. Effectivity – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in two (2) national newspapers of general circulation.

Senate Bill No. 43
AMMENDMENTS TO THE  JUVENILE JUSTICE AND WELFARE ACT OF 2006

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

Section 1: Section 6 of Republic Act No. 9344 is hereby amended to read as follows:

“SEC. 6. Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility.

A CHILD ELEVEN (11) YEARS OF AGE OR UNDER at the time
of the commission of the offense shall be exempt from criminal liability. However, the child shall be subjected to an intervention program pursuant to Section 20 of this Act. A

CHILD IS DEEMED TO BE ELEVEN (11) YEARS OF AGE ON THE DAY OF THE ELEVENTH ANNIVERSARY OF HIS BIRTH DATE. A CHILD ABOVE ELEVEN (11) YEARS BUT BELOW THIRTEEN (13) YEARS OF AGE WHO ACTED WITHOUT DISCERNMENT AT THE TIME OF THE COMMISSION OF THE CRIME SHALL LIKEWISE BE EXEMPT FROM CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY AND SHALL BE SUBJECTED TO AN APPROPRIATE INTERVENTION PROGRAM PURSUANT TO SECTION 20 OF THIS ACT.

A CHILD ABOVE ELEVEN (11) YEARS BUT BELOW THIRTEEN (13) YEARS OF AGE WHO ACTED WITH DISCERNMENT AT THE TIME OF THE COMMISSION OF THE CRIME SHALL BE SUBJECTED TO AN APPROPRIATE DIVERSION PROGRAM IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS ACT.

A CHILD THIRTEEN (13) YEARS OLD AND ABOVE BUT BELOW FIFTEEN (15) YEARS OF AGE AT THE TIME OF THE COMMISSION OF THE CRIME SHALL BE SUBJECTED TO AN APPROPRIATE DIVERSION PROGRAM IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS ACT.

A CHILD IS DEEMED TO BE THIRTEEN (13) YEARS OF AGE ON THE DAY OF THE THIRTEENTH ANNIVERSARY OF HIS BIRTH DATE.

IN CASE THE CHILD IS FIFTEEN (15) YEARS OLD AND ABOVE BUT BELOW EIGHTEEN (18) YEARS OF AGE AT THE TIME OF THE COMMISSION OF THE OFFENSE, THE TRIAL COURT SHALL DETERMINE WHETHER:

  1. TO PROCEED IN ACCORDANCE WITH CHAPTER 4 (COURT PROCEEDINGS) OF THIS ACT; OR
  2. TO SUBJECT THE CHILD TO AN APPROPRIATE DIVERSION PROGRAM IN ACCORDANCE WITH CHAPTER 2 OF THIS ACT.

A CHILD IS DEEMED TO BE FIFTEEN (15) YEARS OF AGE ON THE DAY OF THE FIFTEENTH ANNIVERSARY OF HIS BIRTH DATE.

PROVIDED THAT IF A CHILD ELEVEN (11) YEARS OLD AND ABOVE BUT BELOW THIRTEEN (13) YEARS OLD WHO ACTED WITH DISCERNMENT, AND A CHILD THIRTEEN (13) YEARS OLD AND ABOVE BUT BELOW 18 YEARS OLD IS CHARGED, PROSECUTED, ANDIOR CONVICTED OF AN OFFENSE PUNISHABLE UNDER R.A. 9165 OR THE COMPREHENSIVE DANGEROUS DRUGS ACT OF 2002, THE PROVISIONS OF THAT LAW WILL APPLY.

The exemption from criminal liability herein established does not include exemption from civil liability, which shall be enforced in accordance with eXisting laws.”

Section 2: Section 20 of Republic Act No. 9344 is hereby amended to read as follows:

“SEC. 20. Children Below the Age of Criminal Responsibility.

If it has been determined that the child taken into custody is ELEVEN (11) YEARS OLD OR BELOW, OR ELEVEN YEARS OLD AND ABOVE BUT BELOW THIRTEEN (13) YEARS OLD WHO ACTED WITHOUT DISCERNMENT, the authority which will have an initial contact with the child has the duty to immediately release the child to the custody of his/her parents or guardian, or in the absence thereof, the child’s nearest relative. Said authority shall give notice to the local social welfare and development officer who will determine the appropriate programs in consultation with the child and to the person having custody over the child. If the parents, guardians or nearest relatives cannot be located, or if they refuse to take custody, the child may be released to any of the following: a duly registered nongovernmental or religious organization; a barangay official or a member of the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC); a local social welfare and development officer; or when and where appropriate, the DSWD. If the child referred to herein has been found by the Local Social Welfare and Development Office to be abandoned, neglected or abused by his parents, or in the event that the parents will not comply with the prevention program, the proper petition for involuntary commitment shall be filed by the DSWD or the Local Social Welfare and Development Office pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 603, otherwise ,known as “The Child and Youth Welfare Code”.”

Section 3: Section 22 of Republic Act No. 9344 is hereby amended to read as follows:

“SEC. 22. Duties During Initial Investigation. –

The law enforcement officer shall, in his/her investigation, determine where the case involving the child in conflict with the law should be referred.

The taking of the statement of the child shall be conducted in the presence of the following: (1) child’s counsel of choice or in the absence thereof, a lawyer from the Public Attorney’s Office; (2) the child’s parents, guardian, or nearest relative, as the case may be; and (3) the local social welfare and development officer. In the absence of the child’s parents, guardian, or nearest relative, and the local social welfare and development officer, the investigation shall be conducted in the presence of a representative of an NGO, religious group, or member of the BCPC.

After the initial investigation, the local social worker conducting the same may do either of the following:

  1. PROCEED IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 20 IF THE CHILD IS ELEVEN (11) YEARS OR BELOW, OR ABOVE ELEVEN (11) BUT BELOW THIRTEEN (13) YEARS OLD, WHO ACTED WITHOUT DISCERNMENT; AND
  2. IF THE CHILD IS ABOVE ELEVEN (11) YEARS OLD BUT BELOW THIRTEEN (13) YEARS OLD AND WHO ACTED WITH DISCERNMENT, PROCEED TO DIVERSION UNDER CHAPTER 2 OF THIS ACT.
  3. IF THE CHILD IS ABOVE THIRTEEN (13) YEARS OLD BUT BELOW FIFTEEN (15) YEARS OLD, PROCEED TO DIVERSION UNDER CHAPTER 2 OF THIS ACT.
  4. IF THE CHILD IS ABOVE FIFTEEN (15) YEARS OLD BUT BELOW EIGHTEEN (18) YEARS OLD, THE APPROPRIATE TRIAL COURT SHALL DECIDE WHETHER:
    1. TO PROCEED IN ACCORDANCE WITH CHAPTER 4 (COURT PROCEEDINGS) OF THIS ACT; OR
    2. TO SUBJECT THE CHILD TO AN APPROPRIATE DIVERSION PROGRAM IN

Section 4: Section 23 of Republic Act No. 9344 is hereby amended to read as follows:

“SEC. 23. System of Diversion. –

Children in conflict with the law WHO ARE REQUIRED TO undergo diversion programs without undergoing court proceedings SHALL BE subject to the conditions herein provided:

(a) Where the imposable penalty for the crime committed is not more than six (6) years imprisonment, the law enforcement officer or Punong Barangay with the assistance of the local social welfare and development officer or other members of the LCPC shall conduct mediation, family conferencing and conciliation and, where appropriate, adopt indigenous modes of conflict resolution in accordance with the best interest of the child with a view to accomplishing the objectives of restorative justice and the formulation of a diversion program. The child and his/her family shall be present in these activities.

(b) In victimless crimes where the imposable penalty is not more than six (6) years imprisonment, the local social welfare and development officer shall meet with the child and his/her parents or guardians for the development of the appropriate diversion and rehabilitation program, in coordination with the BCPC;

(c) Where the imposable penalty for the crime committed exceeds six (6) years imprisonment, diversion measures may be resorted to only by the court.”

Section 5. Transitory provision – Upon the effectivity of this Act, cases of children eleven (11) years old and below at the time of the commission of the crime shall immediately be dismissed and the child shall be referred to the appropriate local social welfare and development officer or the appropriate court, as the case may be. Such officer or judge, upon thorough assessment of the child, shall determine whether to release the child to the custody of his/her parents, or refer the child to prevention programs as provided under this Act. Those with suspended sentences and undergoing rehabilitation at the youth rehabilitation center shall likewise be released, unless it is contrary to the best interest of the child.

Section 6. Separability Clause. – If any provision of this Act is declared invalid or unconstitutional, the provisions not affected thereby shall continue to be in full force and effect

Section 7. Repealing Clause – All Laws, decrees or rules inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed modified accordingly. Section 8. Effectivity Clause – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after the completion of its publication in at least two (2) national newspapers of general circulation.