Drilon sleeping during TV interview? Locsin, Ejercito rush to defend him

March 2, 2020 - 3:57 PM
Franklin Drilon in Senate
Undated photo of Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon. (The STAR/Geremy Pintolo)

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and former senator JV Ejercito defended Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon following online allegations that he was “sleeping” during a televised interview with CNN Philippines news anchor Pinky Webb.

The top diplomat tweeted that the opposition senator “asleep makes more sense talking in his sleep than most officials wide awake.”

His tweet was also liked by Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto and ABS-CBN broadcast journalist Karen Davila.

Locsin also retweeted an initial comment he made after a clip of Drilon’s interview edited with snoring and rooster sounds circulated on local Twitter.

“He was one of my superiors at ACCRALAW (Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices). A genius. I got him into the Cory Cabinet. He became her most efficient Executive Secretary,” the DFA chief initially said.

Prior to pursuing a career in politics, Drilon worked in the same law firm with Locsin as his subordinate.

Ejercito agreed with Locsin’s comment on Drilon, noting that the latter “is one of the most brilliant senators” he has worked with.

When he stands up at the podium, you have to be prepared. He does his homework. Most of his interpellations are very essential in the improvement of any passed measure,” Ejercito tweeted

Last weekend, a clip of Drilon seemingly bowing down with eyes closed during an interview with CNN’s “The Source” made rounds online.

The senator then earned the ire from some social media users who linked pictures of him supposedly sleeping in public at various events in the past.

However, some fact checks of news outlets such as ABS-CBN News and Agence France-Presse determined that those pictures were edited to make it appear that the legislator was sleeping.

Drilon has been serving as a public official since 1986 and has since shepherded into passage a number of landmark legislative measures such as the Revised Corporation Code, the Free Tuition Act, Mental Health Act, Magna Carta for the Poor and the Sagip Saka Act, among others.

He was also responsible for calling attention to the funds allocated for the P50-million 30th Southeast Asian Games’ cauldron which was only specifically built for that occasion.

What was the video about? 

Drilon appeared live on “The Source” last week to talk about the proposed joint resolutions he filed at Congress to extend ABS-CBN‘s congressional franchise up to 2022.

The resolution would urge both the Senate and the House of Representatives to discuss the issue before they adjourn on the second week of March and resume on May 4, the same date of the media giant’s franchise expiration.

At the 12-minute mark of a clip uploaded online, the legislator was seen with his head bowed down while Webb introduced the joint resolution he filed. He could also be heard making a “Hmm” sound.

While Drilon appeared to be sleeping for some, the manner of his head and eyes’ movements indicated that he could be possibly reading something below the table instead.

A Twitter user observed that he watched the interview as it aired that day and concluded that someone might have “edited the video and put some snore into it.”

“I may not like Drilon but we shouldn’t do something like this to defame a person. Not good,” he said.

Other Filipinos observed that even if Drilon was “sleeping” during the televised interview, it was noticeable that he was able to answer Webb’s questions properly and without any indication of him supposedly dozing off.

ABS-CBN’s current franchise to operate its broadcasting service is set to expire on May 4. While the Senate began to tackle the franchise renewal, the House of Representatives has yet to hold a hearing on the matter.