Franklin Drilon: One Night with Mo Twister

Posted on: Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 at 3:17 pm


Well, well, well, I was surfing the web when I saw this. I was not able to watch the show of Mo Twister because I go home late from my work at the United Nations Development Programme in Makati. I thank Senator Drilon for considering me. I have already signed up with LP, but have not yet taken the oath of office.

That means, in simple English, I am still a free agent. And is still talking to the rest of the world. Which I am doing. Every week. Which accounts for these short, elliptical sentences. Talking to political operators and campaign managers. Leads to a meltdown in one's brain cells. Which makes me wonder. What am I doing here?


“Unless the Filipino people remains vigilant, the prospect of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo extending his stay in power as prime minister is a real possibility and the primary reason why Liberal Party President Sen. Mar Roxas is my favorite presidential candidate in 2010 is because I believe in his integrity.”

These, among several other current issues, were the highlights of a very interesting and insightful interview I had with Mo Twister last April 28. Mo Twister, who was described to me as one of the most provocative and straightforward interviewers in Philippine media today is a radio-turned-TV jock who is currently the host of the In My Opinion talk show aired on ANC Tuesday nights.

Here are some of the quotes he extracted from me:

On my alleged ‘intimidating’ public image: Maybe I am too serious in what I do as a public servant. But sometimes, it is good to intimidate people, especially those who are up to no good. But you are doing well, Mo, so I should not intimidate you.

On the infighting among senators: I was Senate President during half of the time when I was in the Senate. As Senate president, you try to keep things cool so you can move legislation. What is happening in the Senate now is a little embarrassing. What you see on television are people fighting; it’s not good. It does not project (the institution) well.

Am I running for the Senate in 2010?: It’s in my agenda, but I haven’t decided fully yet. In the first place, I don’t even know if there will be a presidential and senatorial elections next year, given the fact that the House of Representatives is now pushing a patently illegal and immoral way of changing the Constitution.

On the youth running for public office: The youth always had that chance. In fact, in the Liberal Party, we are looking at a number of young politicians who are being considered for the 2010 senatorial elections. Certainly, I agree that the youth should lead the country now. Our generation will soon belong to history.

On claim that the Senate was better managed when I was there: I had my time. You don’t pass judgment on people coming after you. Let the people judge.

On reuniting the Senate: It’s a question of you being able to reconcile conflicting interests, and I am sure the present leadership of the Senate would be able to do that.

On being away from public office: Right now, I have an “apostolate,” meaning I take care of my “apo (grandchildren)” and I am enjoying every bit of it. I was taken back by my former law office. I go to office everyday.

On gay marriage: (I believe me must) allow it. Everyone has the right to pursue happiness. That is my personal opinion and it does not have anything to do with my belief in God or in the Catholic Church.

On divorce: I don’t believe in divorce. There are enough laws that would allow a legal remedy in case a couple cannot live together anymore.

On term extensions for gov’t officials: I am not in favor of that because you have a mandate with the people that under the Constitution, you are to serve only for three terms, in the case of Congressmen, three terms for Senators, and one-term in the case of the President.

Pay hikes for public officials to fight corruption. I am open to that suggestion. I believe we should provide sufficient compensation to public employees so that the temptation to commit corruption will be diminished.

On the Arroyo administration. I think history will be very harsh on its judgment of this administration, for various reasons including corruption, the lack of respect for the law and the lack of respect for our democratic institutions.

On Erap running for president again: I believe at the end of the day, it will be the Supreme Court that will decide on that question.

On the right of reply bill. I am not in favor of that bill. I think there are enough laws that will make media responsible, like the laws of libel. To require media to print every response a government official makes would be tantamount to allowing government officials to dictate what news should be in media, and that is not the way it should be.

On legalizing prostitution. I am not in favor of legalizing prostitution. We can help those who have gone astray. I don’t think I am prepared to accept it.

On poll automation. We should have it. It’s about time. We are still doing election in the manner that it was done before World War II. The debate whether we are prepared for it is now a thing of the past. The (poll automation) law has been passed. I think it’s about time we should have it. We just have to prepare. There is no other choice.

On Gloria Arroyo becoming prime minister: Unless we watch out, that will happen.

Will you welcome (gay activist) Danton Remoto in the LP: He has not applied for party membership. But we will consider it (if he does).

On your choice of Mar Roxas as president: Senator Mar Roxas is my choice for president in 2010 primarily because I have never seen him take advantage of his government position for his personal benefit. Integrity to me is very important. I have worked with him and I think he is a very competent person.

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