PAGASA forecasts

Sen. Franklin Drilon

Purple S. Romero

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He has been vocal against the Chief Justice and once called for his inhibition from Arroyo cases pending with the SC


Sen. Franklin Drilon

Corona’s Thorn

MANILA, Philippines – The senator is chairperson of the ruling Liberal party and a member of the Sigma Rho fraternity.

Drilon is a party mate of President Benigno Aquino III, who has never recognized the appointment of Corona as chief justice. Corona was named chief justice by Aquino’s predecessor, then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, in what was touted as a “midnight appointment” in 2010.

As a member of the Sigma Rho fraternity, Drilon considers Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio as one of his brothers in the said fraternity. Carpio’s name has been floated as a possible replacement for Corona. In 2010, Carpio was also considered for the post but he declined from the race, saying then President Arroyo should not name a chief justice during an election appointment ban.

Drilon and the Aquinos go a long way back. The senator served as labor secretary and later justice secretary of the late President Corazon Aquino.

Age: 66

Education: Law, University of the Philippines. Drilon got the third highest score in the 1969 Bar exams.

Professional background: Lawyer. Drilon used to be the managing partner of Angara, Abello, Concepcion, Regala and Cruz law office, one of the top firms in the country. One of his former partners is Sen. Edgardo Angara.

Senate committee: Chairman, committee on finance

Current term: 2010 to 2016

Eligible for reelection? Yes, in 2016.  Drilon is considered a first termer even though 2010 is not the first time he got elected to the Senate. He got elected to the Senate for the first time in 1995. He was reelected to another 6-year term in 2001. Barred by the Constitution from running for a third 6-year term in 2007, he opted to stay in the private sector for 3 years. His successful bid for a Senate seat in 2010 marks the start of a fresh 2-term cycle. 

Political party: Liberal Party 

Senate bloc: Drilon is one of the four members of Liberal Party in the Senate The rest are senators Francis Pangilinan, Ralph Recto and Teofisto Guingona III. 

Role in previous impeachment proceedings:

In 2003, Drilon was poised to serve as one of the senate-judges in the impeachment of then Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide and 7 other justices, which included Renato Corona, who was an associate justice then. At the time, Drilon predicted that the impeachment will not prosper. And he was right; the House eventually dismissed the complaint.

The initiative to impeach Davide was made by allies of then President Joseph Estrada. But while Drilon supported Estrada’s presidential bid in 1998, he later cut ties with him after the latter was mired in corruption allegations.

During Estrada’s impeachment trial in 2001, Drilon is one of those who voted to have the second envelope – deemed a smoking gun against Estrada – opened. 

Published or aired position on Corona or on issues contained in the articles of impeachment: 

Drilon has repeatedly asked Corona to inhibit from cases involving Arroyo. He also said that Corona has shown partiality toward Arroyo, his former superior (Corona was Arroyo’s former chief of staff, presidential legal counsel and spokesman) by voting in her favor in 19 cases. (See cases here:

He also assailed Arroyo’s decision in making a “midnight appointment” for the position of chief justice. Under the 1987 Constitution, an outgoing president is barred from making appointments two months before an election and until the end of his or her term. In the case of Mrs. Arroyo, she cannot issue midnight appointments from March 10 to June 30, but the Court ruled that the SC is exempted from this ban.

He also disagreed with the Court’s reversal on the case of the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines, saying it “appears to be not in the usual procedure.”

The SC, in a resolution dated Oct. 4, 2011 ordered the re-opening of a labor case that had been decided with finality by the second division on September 7. The case involves 1,400 flight attendants of Philippine Airlines (PAL) whom — the second division ruled — had been illegally dismissed in 1998. The SC ordered to have the case re-opened after PAL lawyer Estelito Mendoza wrote the SC.  

Drilon, however, said that Mrs Arroyo should have been allowed to go abroad to seek medical treatment. –



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