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Officials defend Drilon vs SONA attack

first_imgCong. Lorenz Defensor (3rd District, Iloilo) said the President should have focused solely on the government’s plans and responses to pressing matters such as the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. Duterte started his SONA by accusing Drilon of defending oligarchs, and specifically the Lopezes who own the closed ABS-CBN television network. “Dapat hindi niya ‘yan sinabi sa SONA, dapat sa iba na lang,” Cadiao told Panay News. In closing his SONA on July 27, Duterte again lambasted Drilon. He accused the senator of having a hand in the water concession agreement entered by the government with Manila Water. “I aired my support for the renewal of franchise of ABS-CBN because undeniably the network complements other stations in providing timely and accurate reportage even in the farthest locality unreachable to others, even to the government,” he added. The SONA is delivered by the President of the Philippines every year. In it, the Chief Executive reports on the state of the country, unveils the government’s agenda for the coming year, and may also propose to Congress certain legislative measures. For democracy to thrive, according to Drilon, “We need free press and to allow journalists to exercise complete freedom to do their mandate of reporting facts without fear.” “Kung may mali si Senator Drilon pag-usapan nila sa ibang forum,” said Cadiao who described the senator as “our kasimanwa, he is our neighbor.” The governor, however, said the President may just have been carried away by his emotions. Drilon said he was defending press freedom and not the Lopezes. “Unahon na lang naton ang gusto mabatian sang tawo sa subong pareho sang COVID response, economic stimulus, employment creation,” said Defensor. “Siguro mali ang forum,” said Antique’s Gov. Rhodora Cadiao.center_img The SONA is a constitutional obligation required by Article VII, Section 23 of the 1987 Constitution. ILOILO City – President Rodrigo Duterte should not have used his State of the Nation Address (SONA) to attack Ilonggo Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon, according to some officials in Panay Island. “It is something that is imbued with public interest, No. 1 because of the role of the media. How do I tell the people to follow this executive order kon wala ninyo kami gina-interview? No. 2, it involves a lot of workers and it’s a big investment,” said the governor. “Kon ako lang ‘ya, mas maayo kon nahatag ang franchise,” said Defensor. Drilon also denied having anything to do with the water concession agreement entered by the government with Manila Water. “The closure of the ABS-CBN sent a chilling effect,” he stressed. “Siguro napikon sia. Well, he is just human. Pero sige lang, pagbigyan natin. Pero mali ‘yon,” said Cadiao. For his part, Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. of Iloilo shared Drilon’s concern over ABS-CBN’s franchise. He found it strange that the President singled out Drilon when the Ilonggo senator was not the only one in the Senate to have opposed the denial of a franchise to ABS-CBN. “I had nothing to do with that contract – not even a period or a comma. I have not seen a copy of that contract. It was signed by the government during the time of President (Fidel) Ramos. I think I was already in the Senate when that was signed. I had nothing to do whatsoever with that contract. I had no participation,” he stressed./PNlast_img

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