President Rodrigo Duterte started his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) by lambasting Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and accusing him of defending the Lopezes, on Monday, July 27.
The president slammed “those who take advantage of preoccupied government” due to the coronavirus pandemic in which he included Drilon for “arrogantly” making a remark on oligarchs and supposedly defending the Lopezes.
“One of them is Senator Franklin Drilon. In an interview, he arrogantly mentioned, among others, that oligarchs need not be rich. Then he linked the anti-dynasty with oligarchy and the topic was my daughter and son,” he emphasized.
Duterte calls the Senate Minority Leader a “hypocrite”.
He said that Drilon was “obviously” defending the Lopezes, who owns ABS-CBN, the network which recently lost its plea for a new franchise in Congress.
“This happened after the committee of franchise voted 70-11 to deny the grant of franchise to ABS-CBN,” Duterte added.
In a radio inerview, Drilon defended himself by saying that the real issue was the freedom of the press, and the issue about the Lopezes was just incidental.
“Ang akin lang ay ang karapatan ng taong bayan na magkaroon ng kalayaan sa press, lalo na sa panahon ngayon na kailangan ang bawat impormasyon, ang bawat communication na sa outlet for the information of our people,” Drilon stated.
The Senate Minority Leader also assured that he is not indebted with the Lopezes and he only acted out for the 11,000 workers of the company who lost their jobs.
Meanwhile, Duterte said that he could die happy after dismantling an oligarchy that allegedly abused the system.