President Rodrigo Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA)

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will be delivering his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) today. Since Duterte is enjoying a trust rating of 91% — the highest rating among presidents on their first month — we can expect a lot of Filipinos all over the world to be tuned in to watch and listen to Duterte deliver his speech outlining the Philippines’ present economic, political, and social condition. The public is also expecting him to summarize the accomplishments and plans of his program of government.

It's President Duterte's turn: his policies, his methods, his way.

It’s President Duterte’s turn: his policies, his methods, his way.

Beyond Duterte’s actual speech, many people are looking forward to being entertained, because past SONAs have become a joke. In the last six years, SONAs became more about the dresses the women politicians were wearing and less about the problems that needed to be addressed. Members of the Senate and House of Representatives shamelessly paraded their million-peso attires and sought to outdo each other. Some, like Senator Nancy Binay even had a change of costume in the previous SONA and some wore backless dresses. They were trying to outshine each other making like they were supermodels while millions of Filipinos were hungry.

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Yes, the SONA during former President Benigno Simeon Aquino’s term became a circus. His claim that he is simple did not match the reality. The excesses during BS Aquino’s term are comparable to the excesses of previous administrators. It didn’t help that his celebrity sister Kris Aquino was always around to turn the event into a spectacle. The absence of Kris Aquino alone will be an improvement to the event, indeed.

Duterte’s SONA will be a simple and more formal event unlike in the past. Members of Congress and other guests are expected to attend in their business attire. This is bad news for narcissists in Congress but good news for the Filipino public. If decadence and self-indulgence was promoted during BS Aquino’s term, simplicity and decency will be promoted by Duterte.

One thing’s for sure, the public will not hear about Ninoy, Cory, and their so-called “legacy”. The public will not hear about the “dark years” of Martial Law and how BS Aquino’s family supposedly suffered under the Marcos regime. The Public will not have to listen to BS Aquino blaming former President Gloria Arroyo over and over. More importantly, the public will not have to put up with BS Aquino talking about his supposed “achievements” which usually means taking credit for something his predecessor initiated. It was unfortunate that every year in the last six years, BS Aquino did not fail to spew the same formulaic drivel. No wonder the voters finally got sick of him.

BS Aquino’s supporters like his cousin, Senator Bam Aquino and that other ‘senator’ convicted putschist Antonio Trillanes are also anticipating Duterte’s first SONA. They hope that Duterte will tackle other problems and not just his war on drugs. They should talk. They should have asked BS Aquino to stop mentioning his parents and talk more about his policies around dealing with crime. BS Aquino did not even have a policy on how to deal with drugs. His government allegedly allowed criminal gangs and drug lords to run the national penitentiary in Muntinlupa City. There are reports saying former Department of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima regularly rubbed elbows with convicted drug lords. There are photos of her circulating on the Net mingling and partying with them. The prison had become a drug lab where drug lords run their operation. This happened under the watch of BS Aquino.

In signing FOI to law, President Duterte just made former President Aquino look like a failure. (Photo source: SBS Australia)

In signing FOI to law, President Duterte just made former President Aquino look like a failure.
(Photo source: SBS Australia)

Frankly, BS Aquino and his supporters have lost their moral high ground. They should lie low and think twice about criticizing Duterte’s policies because they already had their turn but failed to deliver results. It is probably taking a while for them to realize that they are not in power anymore. They had six years to fix the problems or at least address it, but they didn’t. Now it is someone else’s turn and he’s got his own policies to implement. They may or may not work but it is too early to say it will or it won’t. The best thing for BS Aquino’s supporters to do is to remain vigilant, but stop spreading misinformation just to derail Duterte’s projects. Trillanes is Number One when it comes to doing disruptive things. He has a penchant for throwing false accusations against his rivals. Good thing he had lost his credibility to the public.

What’s also ironic is how some people, mostly Liberal Party supporters who campaigned strongly for losing Presidential candidate Mar Roxas, are asking what Duterte has so far accomplished. Instead of asking Duterte three weeks into his Presidency, they should be asking BS Aquino what he has accomplished after six years at the helm. Liberal Party supporters seem to have lost their grip on reality. They cry foul at reports of alleged drug pushers and drug lords being killed during a raid but they do not cry for the victims of the drug epidemic and how Philippine society is slowly descending into chaos because of the proliferation of illegal drugs. These are the same people who were quiet about extrajudicial killings during Aquino’s time — like when the Lumads were being slaughtered allegedly by people who were said to be working for the military. I do not condone extrajudicial killings but the war on drugs was never going to be peachy. There is an urgency to nip the problem in the bud before the country turns into another Mexico.

Speaking of accomplishments. Duterte just signed an executive order on Freedom of Information (FOI). He managed to accomplish that in less than a month. The FOI was something BS Aquino promised to give the Filipino people while campaigning in 2010. He broke that promise. Now Duterte just made Aquino look even more the failure that he is. We can’t really blame Noynoy for planning on not attending the SONA. He’s probably afraid that Duterte will do the same thing he did and blame him for the problems the new government is facing now. It’s a shame the public will not have the pleasure of watching BS Aquino’s face when the camera zooms in while Duterte talks about the enormous problems the former president left behind.

8 Replies to “President Rodrigo Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA)”

  1. Now it is someone else’s turn and he’s got his own policies to implement. They may or may not work but it is too early to say it will or it won’t. The best thing for BS Aquino’s supporters to do is to remain vigilant, but stop spreading misinformation just to derail Duterte’s projects.

    This advice is one of the best I’ve read and is definitely worth repeating here in the combox. Nice work!

  2. The Aquinos are family of narcissists, traitors and liars. They made themselves heroes and saints. They named : buildings, roads, airports, etc..on themselves…they are even in our currencies. Honestly, I am tired of their faces ! When I see the face of Pnoy Aquino, the Chief YellowTard; he reminded me of a mentally retarded person and mentally ill person, who became President.

    Our country nearly descended into being fully controlled by the Chinese Triad Drug Mafia syndicate. The Chinese invaded a Philippine territory; occupied it as their own.

    We have many problems; mostly very difficult problems. We still have Feudalism; squatters; high unemployment; corruption; drug trafficking; Aquino’s Hacienda Luisita; the Chinese Triad Mafia .Some prominent Filipino Chinese are members of this Crime organization. It is an old Chinese crime organization…They don’t only deal with Shabu…but on other illegal money making scams and extortion.

    The Japanese Yakuza, is a much younger crime organization…Chinese Triad may be as old as the Sicilian (Italy’s) Mafia.

    We need unity in this fight. We now have a good leader,in the form of Pres. Duterte. Filipinos of all ideologies; of all faiths; of all backgrounds, must help to remedy our dire situation… a Bayanihan spirit is needed !

  3. “the war on drugs was never going to be peachy.” True that. Universe please save our president from the propaganda of TV stations like ABS-CBN who has been damning the millions of Filipinos for decades. Kodus to the President Mayor for being a Filipino with one word.

  4. If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.

  5. Almost six years ago, just before midnight while walking for home from work, I was mugged in our town by four transient students who were drunk and high on drugs. I filed a case against them but their leader got free because he claimed to be of minor age and the others never showed up in court.
    Still, I did not lost my hope in our youth even if Dr. Rizal was not my favorite hero but Gat. Bonifacio.
    Having been denied of justice, I remained grateful that I was alive and avoided inclusion of my name to the statistics.
    I am again grateful that now as I retired from my work, our streets were cleared of wayward youngsters and gangs. Addicts and pushers no longer do their trade openly and that the wheel of justice will soon be restored for the benefit of the abused and the victims. Thanks also for those true leaders and true public servants who are now upholding the right law.
    I just hope and pray that the changes for the good that most peaceful-loving Filipinos (91% who trusted Pres. DU30) were experiencing nowadays will not be a fleeting moment but will last till this country becomes a beacon of light and hope for other countries to follow towards the right road for freedom and peace. MABUHAY ang TUNAY NA PILIPINO!

  6. One of the things he said during his SONA is actually a big solid BURN to the past administration.

    “Finger-pointing is not the way of honorable men”

    He is obviously referring to how Aquino kept blaming others for his faults during his 6 years of mediocrity, in fact, his supporters also demonstrated his knack for avoidig responsibility for his foul ups.

    Suffice to say, change is truly coming because NOW we truly have a president that can walk the walk and talk the talk unlike the wimp of a president that the country had to suffer his incompetence for 6 years.

  7. We have now a PATRIOTIC President:

    combination of Pressidents Ramon Magsaysay and Elpidio Quirino. RM- Makatao and EQ- Filipino First Policy. Pwede na rin isama ang kamay na bakal ni FM

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