There's nothing wrong with combing one's mustache, Sen. Robinhood Padilla said, following his (in)famous moment on social media in which he gives his stash some lovin' during a Senate hearing.
In a press conference on June 19, Padilla said there are no rules in the Senate stating that it's not allowed.
"Siguro kung nandoon iyan na sinabi nila na bawal, susundin po natin,” he said.
"Wala namang masama doon, lalo kung tigwas-tigwas ang bigote," he added. "Mas mahirap naman baka naman banatan ako sa susunod, 'Itong si Robin Padilla mukhang tutsang ang kanyang bigote.'"
Padilla also noted that Sen. Chiz Escudero came to his defense.
"Sabi niya, 'O, pare pinagtanggol kita kasi wala naman sa rules iyan. Kung gusto mo, magsuklay ka hanggang gusto mo.'"
Padilla also asked the public for understanding, saying he may not be able to avoid combing his mustache again in the near future especially if it feels itchy.
Prior to this, the actor-turned-senator made rounds online after using "improper" choice of words while making a motion during the Senate's May 16 plenary session. Instead of saying "I move that" as what is stated on parliementary procedures, Padilla said, "Tinatanggap ko po ang panukala."
This likewise drew mixed reactions from netizens, with some saying it is unbefitting for a politician to do so. Sen. JV Ejercito later released a statement saying that there was also a lapse on his part, while Sen. Chiz Escudero said that Padilla did not violate any rule with what he said.
Sen. Joel Villanueva, on the other hand, noted that it is still a concern to observe proper decorum in the Senate.
In Padilla's press conference today, the 53-year-old politician said that while other senators may want to change themselves based on the public's perception of them, he stands firm on his decision not to change any part of himself.
"Ako ay nalalapit sa taong bayan sa pagiging ako. Kapag binago ko ang sarili ko, aba'y baka malayo sila sa akin. Kanya-kanyang style po iyan. Ako ay hinalal para malapit sa mga tao, hindi maging kagalang-galang," he said.
He later added, "Nasa sayo 'yan, e, kung ikaw ay senador, tinamaan ka sa sinabi nila, baguhin mo. Pero ako, wala akong alam na [naapektuhan] ako."
To further explain this, the senator cited his imprisonment back in 1994 for illegal possession of firearms. He was sentenced to a maximum of eight years in jail but was pardoned by the late President Fidel Ramos in 1998.
Padilla continued, "Ako po ay umaamin sa pagkakamali, at ako lang po ang masasabing nagbayad sa kasalanan. Noong nagkasala ako, ikinulong ko ang sarili ko. Wala akong nilagay, wala akong binayaran, tinanggap ko ang hatol sa akin. Pero kapag ako ay walang ginagawang mali, at alam kong ako ay tama, wala akong dapat baguhin sa sarili ko."