MANILA, Philippines–As with anything in life, there are two sides to this story. One side claims to have been bullied; the other side denies it.
Kabataan Rep. Terry Ridon said that he received a “dressing down” from Senate President Franklin Drilon in front of his peers while at a dinner party hosted by Aurora Rep. Bellaflor on Saturday.
To this, Drilon said: “I deny that. As the band was noisy, and I could hardly hear, I had to speak in a loud voice to be heard.”
Ridon, who represents the youth sector of society, expressed his hopes that Drilon would not recognize him as the one spearheading the call for a probe into Hilmarc’s Construction Corp.’s government contracts, including the Iloilo Convention Center (ICC), a project implemented by Drilon.
“It was awkward but I stood up along with the other congressmen when he approached us,” said Ridon speaking of their encounter at the dinner party.
“I was just hoping that he did not know me. But when he reached out to shake my hand, he asked my name and after I told him who I was, he went on his tirade,” Ridon recounted.
According to Ridon, Drilon went on to repeatedly say: “Jesus Christ, why do you keep insulting me? What did I do to you?” while wagging an accusatory finger at him.
“It was embarrassing. I felt small in front of the Senate President. I told him that I was just doing my job as a congressman and that he should not take it personally,” Ridon said.
Ridon says that the confrontation will not cause him to back down from his pursuit for a probe into the matter of the ICC.
“We want to know if the award to Hilmarc’s was rigged since this was a negotiated contract and whether it was overpriced,” Ridon said.
He is also demanding for a public apology for the incident from Drilon, saying that the Senate President should extend inter-parliamentary courtesy to all members of Congress, regardless of their “big or small” stature as politicians.