'Dianne? Dianne!' Senators share laughs as Villar calls for staff during Senate session


Posted at May 11 2020 11:26 PM | Updated as of May 11 2020 11:43 PM

MANILA - Senators on Monday were left wondering and laughing after Sen. Cynthia Villar called for a certain "Dianne" in the middle of the Senate's "hybrid session".

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, who was about to start deliberations on a bill, was cut short when Villar - who forgot to mute her microphone - called for her staff.

"O, ano sagot dito, Dianne? Dianne! Dianne!" Villar interjected.

Senators were speechless for a few seconds until Sen. Sonny Angara said in jest: "I moved that Dianne may be recognized, Mr. President."

Senators, including Villar, were seen and heard laughing at the gaffe in the middle of a usually-formal legislative proceeding.

"Sen. Villar you are well-advised to put off your microphone," Senate President Vicente Sotto III said.

Villar apologized and session resumed to usual proceedings.

The Senate shifted to hybrid sessions last week to limit the possible exposure of lawmakers and Senate staff to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The chamber is expected to hold a mix of physical and teleconferencing sessions until Congress adjourns next month.