Duterte blasts ‘arrogant’ Drilon, accuses him of defending Lopezes
Updated @ 2:10 a.m., Tuesday, July 28, 2020
MANILA, Philippines — Without mincing words, President Rodrigo Duterte lambasted Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon for “arrogantly” making a remark on oligarchs and supposedly defending the Lopezes.
At the start of his penultimate State of the Nation Address on Monday, Duterte was quick to slam “those who take advantage of a preoccupied government” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“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 added.
Duterte said Drilon was “obviously” defending the Lopezes, who owns ABS-CBN which recently lost its bid for a new franchise in Congress.
“This happened after the Committee on Franchise voted 70-11 to deny the grant of a franchise to ABS-CBN. Obviously, he was defending the Lopezes that they are not oligarchs,” the President said.
“Great wealth enables economic elites and corporations to influence public policy to their advantage. Media is a powerful tool in the hands of oligarchs like the Lopezes who used their media outlets in their battles with political figures. I am a casualty of the Lopezes during the 2016 election,” he added.
In an online media forum last July 15, Drilon urged the President to push for the enactment of a proposed law prohibiting political dynasties in order to dismantle oligarchy.
Drilon, in the same forum, clarified that being rich did not “equate” to being an oligarch, pointing out that oligarchy takes place when one influences the decision of the government or uses his or her wealth to pursue a policy that benefits business interest.
The President had earlier claimed that he had dismantled oligarchy in the country without declaring martial law.
In the latter part of his speech, Duterte once again hit Drilon, this time calling the senator a hypocrite.
“You are a hypocrite. You know you can’t pass an anti-dynasty law. You’re the one in Congress. So you start it. But to take it against me for protecting my country is something which I really resent,” Duterte said.
JE / ATM
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