December 01, 2016 at 12:01 am
It’s not ever going to happen, I know. But if she knows what’s really good for her, I think Senator Leila de Lima should consult Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo about having Senator Franklin Drilon as her defender.
Drilon, I think, is up to his old dirty tricks. The man primarily responsible for making the Senate a satellite office of Malacañan Palace during the Noynoy Aquino years is once again attempting to use the chamber as a weapon, this time against the House of Representatives, in his bid to defend fellow Yellowist Senator De Lima.
Drilon is the foremost proponent of the argument that the House cannot force De Lima to comply with the “show cause” order issued by its committee on justice because doing so would damage the institution that is the Senate. Drilon wants to shield De Lima from charges of obstruction of justice arising from the revelation of her former driver-lover, Ronnie Dayan, that she advised him to go into hiding instead of appearing before the panel in connection with its investigation of the proliferation of illegal drugs at the New Bilibid Prison.
That De Lima advised Dayan to go on the lam is no longer in question. De Lima herself admitted sending the text message to Dayan’s daughter, after the latter asked her what to do after the House issued a subpoena on the senator’s paramour.
On the face of it, De Lima appears to have violated the laws on complying with valid summonses like the one issued by the House committee on Dayan. But she has declared that she will not reply to the show cause order because the House has no jurisdiction over her.
What Drilon wants is to turn the investigation of the Lower House into a clash between the two chambers. This is certainly not what the lawmakers in the bigger House want—they only want De Lima, without even a serving of Frank on the side.
This is the same Drilon, apparently, who did not lift a finger to protect the institution that is the Senate when three of its members were charged (by De Lima, as secretary of justice) and eventually thrown into jail for pocketing their pork barrel funds. It’s either the same Drilon, or someone unfortunate enough to have cloned his ample physique.
I wonder if Drilon consulted his fellow senators when he implied that the Senate was all set to go to war with the House over De Lima. And I wonder, most of all, if Drilon will stand by De Lima if and when she is arrested in connection with the various charges she is facing, of which obstruction of justice is probably the least serious; I don’t think so.
Anyone who has ever crossed paths with His Bigness Frank will have to reply in the negative. With Drilon as her advocate, De Lima might as well plead guilty and seek clemency from the courts for being contrite and refusing to contest any and all allegations made against her.
Anyone who doubts that Drilon is a duplicitous, double-dealing dirtbag should ask him what he was doing in the morning of the day that he joined the Hyatt 10, that group of Cabinet members who quit en masse in a bid to force the resignation of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The members of Arroyo’s inner circle of advisers still recall that Senate President Drilon was closeted with them in Malacañan Palace, dreaming up strategies to counter-act the efforts of the Arroyo-resign movements that sprang up in the wake of the “Hello, Garci” scandal.
In the morning, Drilon was helping devise schemes to help Arroyo survive the protest actions as a trusted adviser of the president and head of the Senate; by the afternoon, he was already at the press conference calling for Arroyo’s resignation. That’s just how Drilon rolls.
It will not surprise me at all if Drilon is still trying to ingratiate himself to President Rodrigo Duterte in a desperate bid to avoid being linked to his second cousin, controversial Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog. The Iloilo drug dealer Melvin Odicta, who has been identified as an associate and friend of Mabilog, and his wife may have been assassinated, but the stink raised by Duterte when he declared that Iloilo was the most “shabulized” city in the country continues to hang like a fog over Drilon, as well.
Anyone of any political importance in Iloilo, after all, will admit that Drilon is the acknowledged kingpin of both the city and the eponymous province where it is located. Luckily for Drilon and Mabilog, Odicta and his wife were shot dead at the wharf in Iloilo shortly after they went to Manila, supposedly to tell all about their running a drug ring in Drilon’s backyard with the help of the senator’s cousin.
If the Odictas had survived the attack, I’m sure they would provide testimony that would have made Kerwin Espinosa look like a small-time pusher. But Drilon’s streak of unbelievable political luck seems destined to continue unbroken, a streak which began since his days as a lawyer for Ferdinand Marcos and his cronies in the old ACCRA law firm.
Drilon defending De Lima is like Antonio Trillanes getting appointed as “back-channel negotiator” with the Chinese. Oh wait, that didn’t turn out so well, either, right?