Gordon deplores Duterte’s attacks vs. Drilon, ‘surrender’ to China remarks in SONA

Published July 28, 2020, 6:06 PM

by Mario Casayuran

Senator Richard J. Gordon today described as ‘’unpresidential’’ the attacks against Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon by President Duterte in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) yesterday at the Batasang Pambansa complex in Quezon city.

Senator Richard Gordon (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Duterte had chastised Drilon for allegedly framing the supposed one-sided water supply agreements with the Ayalas and his defense of the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN network that Duterte charged wronged him in the last 2016 presidential elections.

‘’I think its unpresidential, malaki galit nya pero di dapat inilabas sa public…marami siya sinasabi na di dapat sabihin; that’s his business pero di kami nakikialam pero di nya dapat isingle out ang isang tao…kahit anong sabihin mo kahit franchise yun, committed ang democratic space,’’ he said. (The President should not have made his personal hatred a public matter. He said so many things that should not have been made public but that’s his business. While we should not meddle, he should not have singled out one man. Even if it is about a franchise, what is at stake is democratic space.)

In another interview with Senate reporters, Senator Imee R. Marcos agreed with numerous parts of the President’s SONA.

In a colorful language, Marcos said the President had Drilon for ‘’appetizer’’ and ‘’desert.’’

 Drilon had complained that the President’s attacks against him were done at the start and at the end of the SONA.          

‘’I wasn’t too happy sa sinasabi niyang yung ipasa sa Senate ang gagastusin sa plano nya, yung distance learning gusto ko yun pero kelangan more specific,’’ Gordon said. (I wasn’t too happy about his statement that the Senate should pass measures to cover the expenses for his educational plans. He should be more specific.

Gordon, likewise, stated that the President should not have discussed in public Philippine dealings with China.

He said he disapproves of Duterte’s pro-China stance, particularly on his reliance with China for possible supply of the still to be discovered coronavirus  disease (COVID-19) vaccine.

On Duterte’s statement that China possesses the continued WPS, Gordon said he is hurting because the Philippine President conceded this early all because China has more arms. 

‘’We don’t have to go to war, we can assert,’’ he said, citing the cases of England and Finland during the World War II where they fought their enemies against all odds. 

’Napakaagang sabihin nyan di pa naguumpisa ang labanan kung lahat ibibigay natin, di ako pumapayag na relinquish ang Scarborough shoals, Spratlys…we should always assert and soldiers do assert,’’ he pointed out. (It is too early for him to give China what it wants even before the fight has begun. I reject any position relinquishing Philippine ownership over the Scarborough Shoal, the Spratlys ..We should always assert, soldiers do assert.)

Asked whether his pro-China stance weakens the President’s leadership, Gordon replied: ’’I don’t know what strategy he is playing kapag binubully ang tao dapat panindigan mo kasi lalo ka bubullyhin….di natin ipapakita ang baraha natin, we can play with China…’’ (We should stand our ground, particularly when we are being bullied. We must not show our cards, we can play with China..)