Before diving into a recent plenary session, Senator Cynthia Villar checked with her assistant, Dianne, if her mic was on to make sure. Last year, Dianne went viral after Villar was heard calling for her in a Zoom conference.
Turns out, the mic was on and the banter that ensued was playful. Nonetheless, it's a lesson in video call etiquette that has become the norm during the pandemic. Mute and unmute properly.
Villar, the richest senator, was greeted by the only other billionaire in the Senate, boxing legend Manny Pacquiao.
VILLAR: Bukas ba ito Dianne? Baka madidinig ako.
PACQUIAO: Ma'am Cynthia, good afternoon.
Sen. Sonny Angara teased the two billionaires.
ANGARA: Manny, batiin mo din yung hindi bilyonaryo... Kayo-kayo lang nagbabatiang mga bilyonaryo diyan eh, batiin nyo naman yung mga milyonaryo lang.
VILLAR: Kaya ka napapagalitan ni Senate President. Kung anu-ano sinasabi mo eh.
During an earlier session, Senate President Tito Sotto called Angara out for his video call outfit, as pointed out by Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri.
ANGARA: Si Migz, naka-pajama daw ako kahapon. Loko-loko itong majority leader eh. Kaya sinabi ko na, inunahan ko na, Tita.
VILLAR: Natakot tuloy ako eh. Ayoko nang mag-t-shirt baka ako rin mapagalitan eh.
As the session progressed, Sen. Panfilo Lacson was also caught unaware that his mic was on while his colleague, Sen. Richard Gordon, was speaking.
LACSON: Dina, Dina, Dina Dina, nag-enjoy ka ba kahapon dun sa Supreme Court? Hindi. Si Leonen. Oo, grabe.
The Supreme Court this week heard oral arguments on the anti-terrorism law.
Credit goes to News 5 for compiling the not entirely off record banter in their Frontline newscast.