Senate of the Philippines

Lack of decorum? No, Frank can’t touch Robin’s mustache.

Bonz Magsambol

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Lack of decorum? No, Frank can’t touch Robin’s mustache.

PEACE? Senator Robin Padilla shakes hands with former senator Franklin Drilon.

Screenshot from Senate stream

'Wala sa rules ng Senate na bawal magsuklay ng bigote,' says Senator Robin Padilla after former senator Franklin Drilon criticized the 'lack of decorum' at the Senate

Neophyte senator Robin Padilla recently stirred controversy for combing his mustache while in Senate hearings, prompting former senator Franklin Drilon to criticize “lack of decorum” in the upper chamber.

In what appeared to be an awkward moment, Padilla and Drilon crossed paths at the necrological service of former senator Rodolfo Biazon on Monday, June 19. After his eulogy for Biazon, Padilla approached Drilon and shook hands with him before going back to his seat.

It’s a form of respect for a politician who had served the Senate for 24 years, Padilla said.

But no one touches the action star’s mustache.

“Wala sa rules ng Senate na bawal magsuklay ng bigote. Siguro kung nandoon ‘yan na sinabi nila na bawal, susundin po natin,” Padilla said also on Monday, more than an hour after he shook hands with Drilon. (The rules of the Senate do not prohibit combing a mustache. If there’s a rule on that and it is prohibited, I’d comply.)

In May, the actor-turned-politician went viral over a video showing him combing his mustache during a Senate hearing. He said he let it grow for his role as writer Marcelo del Pilar in an upcoming film. This drew flak online as Filipinos pointed out that his behavior was unbecoming of a senator.

Drilon would not have this. Although he didn’t name names, Drilon said he was alarmed by the “lack of decorum” among the current roster of senators of the 19th Congress because this could erode the “prestige of the Senate as an institution.”

On Thursday, June 15, Drilon appealed to Senate President Migz Zubiri to “draw the line” because “restoring the prestige of the Senate is a burden on his shoulder.”

“With all due respect and I hope my former colleagues are not onion-skinned, I’m compelled to comment on what the public perceives to be an erosion of the prestige of the Senate as institution. Principally brought about by what is perceived to be the lack of decorum on the part of certain senators,” he said.

EULOGY. Senator Robin Padilla delivers his eulogy for the late former senator Pong Biazon.

Padilla seemed to be alluded to.

In a statement on Saturday, June 17, Padilla took a swipe at Drilon, too, saying that while they were “noisy,” they were not sleeping on the job.

Drilon was criticized before for allegedly sleeping during interviews and hearings. His colleagues came to his defense, saying that he was just browsing his notes.

Padilla said that the current roster of senators comes from a “new generation,” and their work is not based on being “honorable-looking.” Also, he said, they are from the masses and have their feet on the ground.

But on Monday, Padilla said he doesn’t feel alluded to by Drilon’s statement and that he only released a statement to defend Zubiri.

Ano lang ako sa akin ay bilang ako ay nasa ilalim ng pamumuno ni SP MZ (Senate President Migz Zubiri), parang naobliga lang po ako na ipagtanggol po siya. Kasi pangit naman kung ipagtanggol ni Ginoong Pangulo ang sarili niya,” he said. (I felt like I was obliged to defend Senate President Migz Zubizi since I’m under his leadership. Because it doesn’t look good for him to defend himself.)


Still, Padilla said he approached Drilon on Monday to show his respect. “Paggalang ko ‘yan sa nakatatanda at experience at sa karanasan po, at ako po walang kahit na anong personal na bigat ng dibdib. Nagmano pa nga po ako,” he told reporters. (It’s my way of showing respect to elders and their experience, and I don’t hold any grudge to anyone. I even bowed to him.)

Lack of decorum? No, Frank can’t touch Robin’s mustache.

“Ang Senado po ngayon ay hindi nagpapatawa dahil ang minana namin na suliranin ng bayan mula sa mga nagdaan na kagalang-galang at honorable senators ay hindi katatawanan,” he said. (The Senate now is not in the comedy business because we inherited many problems facing the nation from the honorable senators who came before us.)

History of feud

The feud between Padilla and Drilon runs deep.

In 2013, Padilla made an Instagram post which featured graphics of Drilon as a “pig and politician crossbreeding.” He called on Drilon to resign amid the pork barrel scam issue.

But his admission of receiving P100 million of pork barrel funds, Drilon said, was not tantamount to corruption since the funds were used for infrastructure projects in Iloilo City to boost its bid to host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation ministerial meeting in 2015.

Drilon was the justice secretary when Padilla was jailed due to illegal possession of firearms. –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!
Avatar photo


Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler.