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Franklin Drilon
JPPFL Sen. Franklin Drilon (cropped).jpg
Drilon in 2018
18th President of the Senate of the Philippines
In office
July 22, 2013 – June 30, 2016
Preceded by Juan Ponce Enrile
Succeeded by Aquilino Pimentel III
In office
July 23, 2001 – July 24, 2006
Preceded by Aquilino Pimentel Jr.
Succeeded by Manny Villar
In office
July 12, 2000 – November 13, 2000
Preceded by Blas Ople
Succeeded by Aquilino Pimentel Jr.
President pro tempore of the Senate of the Philippines
In office
July 25, 2016 – February 27, 2017
Preceded by Ralph Recto
Succeeded by Ralph Recto
Senate Majority Leader
In office
January 26, 1998 – July 12, 2000
Preceded by Francisco Tatad
Succeeded by Francisco Tatad
Senate Minority Leader
In office
February 28, 2017 – June 30, 2022
Preceded by Ralph Recto
Succeeded by Koko Pimentel
Senator of the Philippines
In office
June 30, 2010 – June 30, 2022
In office
June 30, 1995 – June 30, 2007
Chair of the Philippine Senate
Finance Committee
In office
July 26, 2010 – July 22, 2013
Preceded by Edgardo Angara
Succeeded by Francis Escudero
Executive Secretary
In office
July 15, 1991 – June 30, 1992
President Corazon Aquino
Preceded by Oscar Orbos
Succeeded by Peter Garuccho
Secretary of Justice
In office
July 1, 1992 – February 2, 1995
President Fidel V. Ramos
Preceded by Silvestre Bello III
Succeeded by Demetrio G. Demetria
In office
January 4, 1990 – July 14, 1991
President Corazon Aquino
Preceded by Sedfrey A. Ordoñez
Succeeded by Silvestre Bello III
Secretary of Labor and Employment
In office
President Corazon Aquino
Personal details
Franklin Magtunao Drilon

(1945-11-28) November 28, 1945 (age 77)
Iloilo City, Iloilo, Philippine Commonwealth
Nationality Filipino
Political party Liberal (2003–present)
Other political
Independent (2000–2003)
LAMMP (1998–2000)
Lakas–NUCD (1995–1998)
UNIDO (1987–1995)
Spouse(s) Violeta Calvo (died)
Mila Serrano-Genuino
Children Eliza Drilon
Patrick Drilon
Residence(s) Iloilo City, Iloilo
San Juan, Metro Manila
Alma mater University of the Philippines Diliman (BA, LL.B.)
Occupation Lawyer, Politician

Franklin Magtunao Drilon (born November 28, 1945) is a Filipino lawyer and former politician. He had the longest tenure in the Senate of the Philippines (tied with Lorenzo Tañada, Tito Sotto and incumbent Loren Legarda), having served four non-consecutive terms overall: from 1995 to 2007 and 2010 to 2022. He has served thrice as president of the Senate: in 2000, from 2001 to 2006, and from 2013 to 2016.

Having also served as Senate president pro tempore, Senate Majority Leader, and Senate Minority Leader, he is the only senator to have held all four of the Senate's major leadership positions. A member of the Liberal Party since 2003, he has been the party's vice-chairman since 2011 and has previously served as the party's chairman and president.

He also served as Secretary of Labor and Employment, Secretary of Justice, and Executive Secretary in the administration of President Corazon Aquino. He became Secretary of Justice again during the administration of President Fidel V. Ramos.

Drilon was born and raised in Iloilo City and studied law at the University of the Philippines. He placed third in the 1969 Bar Exams and worked as a private practice lawyer before joining the government.

Early life

Drilon was born on November 28, 1945, in Iloilo City, Iloilo and is the eldest son of Cesar Drilon Sr. and Primitiva Magtunao. He took his elementary education at the Baluarte Elementary School in Molo, Iloilo City, and graduated in 1957. He finished his secondary education at the U.P. - Iloilo College (now University of the Philippines High School in Iloilo) in 1961.

In college, he went to the University of the Philippines Diliman (U.P.) where he received his Bachelor of Arts Political Science degree in 1965. At U.P., he was the associate editor of the student newspaper Philippine Collegian and served as councilor of the U.P. Student Council. Among his classmates were future politicians Miriam Defensor Santiago and Ronaldo Zamora. In 1969, he completed his Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) at the University of the Philippines College of Law in UP Diliman. He placed 3rd in the 1969 Philippine Bar Examinations with an 86.85% bar rating.

In the same year, he served as an associate lawyer of Sycip, Salazar, Luna, Manalo & Feliciano Law Offices (now SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan). He moved to Angara, Abello, Concepcion, Regala & Cruz Law Offices (ACCRALaw) in 1974, where he still serves as Senior Counsel. ACCRALaw elevated him to partner in 1975, co-managing partner in 1981 and managing partner in 1986.

Drilon was also a Bar Examiner on Labor and Social Legislation in the 1979 and 1984 bar examinations. He also became the vice-president and governor of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) and the vice-president, Board member and treasurer of the Personnel Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP).

Personal life

FvfManilaCathedral8410 08
Senator Drilon praying during the reopening of the Manila Cathedral

Drilon was married to fellow lawyer and ACCRA senior partner Violeta Calvo with whom he had two children, Eliza and Patrick. During his candidacy for a Senate seat in 1995, Drilon often traveled to the US to be with his wife who was then being treated for lung cancer. Mrs. Drilon died of the disease in September 1995, two months after her husband assumed his Senate seat. Two years after, Drilon proposed to close family friend Mila Serrano-Genuino, who was a widow. They married with former Presidents Aquino and Ramos as wedding sponsors.

Drilon has a nephew named Rock who is married to ABS-CBN Broadcast Journalist Cecilia Victoria Oreña, also known as Ces Drilon.

Drilon is a member of the Rotary Club, Makati Chapter. He was an active member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) where he was a former President of the PasayMakatiMandaluyongSan Juan Chapter. Although he was born in Iloilo, he is a registered voter of Greenhills, San Juan.

He received his Doctor of Humanities (Honoris Causa) honorary degree from Central Philippine University.

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