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Ces Oreña-Drilon trends on Twitter for Marcos Jr.'s 'dedma' call out, Domagoso's 'madam moderator' honorific, and her post-debate sigh

By NICK GARCIA Published Apr 04, 2022 12:11 am Updated Apr 04, 2022 8:05 am

The Commission on Elections (Comelec)'s second presidential debates moderator Ces Oreña-Drilon has been such a "mood" to netizens—from pointing out Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. being a "dedma" to letting out a huge sigh at the tailend of the program.

During the April 3 event, Oreña-Drilon briefly introduced the 10 presidential candidates in alphabetical order: Ex-palace spokesman Ernesto Abella, labor leader Leody de Guzman, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso, ex-defense secretary Norberto Gonzales, Sen. Ping Lacson, businessman Faisal Mangondato, former senator Marcos Jr., cardiologist and lawyer Jose Montemayor, Sen. Manny Pacquiao, and Vice President Leni Robredo.

When it was Marcos Jr.'s turn, the moderator made it a point to highlight how he ignored Comelec's invitation. Like the first Comelec presidential debates last March 19, only the dictator's son and namesake was a no-show in the second one.

"Susunod dapat ay si former senator Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr.," Oreña-Drilon said, as the camera shows the audience an empty podium denoting Marcos Jr.'s absence. "Pero hanggang ngayon, dedma pa rin siya sa imbitasyon ng Comelec."

"Dedma" is a Filipino slang for feigning ignorance or snobbing, which is also a shorthand for the transliteration of the local expression "patay-malisya" or "dead malice."

Twitter user @itscrystal_gail commended Oreña-Drilon for commenting on his non-attendance. "Sana masarap ulam ni Ms. Ces Drilon!" the tweet read. "It's not about giving a shade, but being real."

User @Hammiewave said Oreña-Drilon has "NO CHILL MARE!" for the act.

During the debates proper, many netizens also took notice of how candidate Isko Moreno Domagoso kept addressing Oreña-Drilon as "madam moderator" over the course of the three-hour event.

Twitter user @kachowchs shared a photo of a person drinking from a colossal wine glass as its contents spill over his face and upper body.

"take a shot everytime you hear ‘thank you madam moderator’ and ‘sa awa ng diyos,'" the tweet read.

User @yeonshirai, meanwhile, shared a screenshot of Oreña-Drilon during the debates, which supposedly captures her displeased look toward the Manila mayor's honorific.

In a more critical approach, Kontra Daya convenor Danilo Arao said Domagoso's constant use of "madam moderator" is just a "filler introduction" to gather one's thoughts in an impromptu response.

"This is similar to sentences like 'Thank you for that wonderful question,'" Arao wrote.

Oreña-Drilon also caught the attention of netizens with how she unknowingly let out a huge sigh just as the program was done streaming.

At the 2:59:09 mark of the livestream of Vote Pilipinas when the names of the program's sponsors are being mentioned, Oreña-Drilon can be heard thanking some people, with a voice of a man commending her for a job well done in moderating the event.

"Ay talaga ba?" she replied, "Salamat."

A few moments later, out of the blue, Oreña-Drilon groans, seemingly unaware that her microphone is still turned on. She then chuckles afterward.

"Ces drilon’s exasperated audible sigh at the end is something i relate to very deeply," user @lolongyap said.


The April 3 event dealt with foreign relations, government accountability, and safety and security.

The hashtag #PiliPinasDebates2022 has become a trending topic on Twitter. According to Twitter trends tracker trends24, there are over 74,000 tweets bearing the hashtag, as of this writing.

There are also over 3,000 tweets about Oreña-Drilon.