MANILA - Sen. Richard Gordon on Tuesday said President Rodrigo Duterte's rants against Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon during the 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) were "unpresidential," saying lawmakers should not be called out for giving their opinions.
Duterte should have valued the country's democratic space instead of castigating Drilon for speaking up about the shutdown of ABS-CBN, the Philippines' largest broadcast network.
"I think it was unpresidential. Hindi niya dapat nilalabas [sa SONA ang] galit niya sa isang tao lalo na sa isang senador," Gordon told reporters in an online press conference.
(He should not use the SONA to air his anger towards a person, especially against a senator.)
"Hindi dapat i-single out ang isang tao who shares the position of a lot of people over the concern for freedom of expression," he said.
(A person should not be singled out for sharing the position of a lot of people over the concern for freedom of expression.)
Duterte's 5th SONA began and ended with the President hurling accusations against Drilon, who earlier said the President cannot dismantle the oligarchy without banning political dynasties.
Duterte seemed irked over the comment, saying Drilon was a "hypocrite" for hitting political dynasties while defending big businesses.
"When the President mentions something like this in his SONA, baka akala ng iba nasa sauna siya, hindi SONA (some might think that he is in a sauna and not in the SONA)," Gordon said.
"I think he (Duterte) should have stuck to the message," he said.