10 Points on President Duterte’s SONA.

“The State of the Nation Address (SONA) is a constitutional obligation and yearly tradition, wherein the chief executive reports on the status of the country, unveils the government’s agenda for the coming year, and proposes to Congress certain legislative measures.”

  1. Read all the SONAs once upon a time and thought Marcos’ were the most horrible (despite his eloquence). Today I am not so sure he holds that title anymore and that makes me queasy.
  2. The SONA is an opportunity to set policy directives and basically make a case for why we must prioritize certain issues over others. It’s the speech that gives us a sense of where our nation and its people are. It’s effectively a pitch the Executive makes to rally us all and determine how our taxes are to be spent and why.
  3. What did I like? Ceasefire and RH full implementation. But both seemed meh.
  4. Concerns? Policy directions are all vague. “Health, education, …” The last one was so trite I forgot what it was. Anyway, basta all good things no person in his right mind would oppose but nothing clear enough to guide departments except mandatory classes on evils of drugs. Labs, diba parang sex lang yan? No amount of talking about the evils of it made us any less curious to try? Diba? Aminin. :) Waited for a long time for him to paint a picture of the country he knows and loves, it never came. The bullet-point enumeration that passed for a speech made me wonder if he should’ve just showed a powerpoint and read it aloud like lousy teachers do? Sayang–there were emotionally charged parts that lost their force because well, it was a poorly written speech. That surprised me because the one he delivered in his inaugural gave me goosebumps and held real gravitas.
  5. Concerns pa…oversimplification of issues? Lack of bases for claims? No attempt to even qualify his positions. I would support an all out war on drugs if he had proof of how terrible it was compared to say, poverty? But you know, tbh, I’m pretty sure he can’t answer this because we don’t have existing databases to support these claims. We just have his word over ours because he is the President and we have a lame set of Houses because they’ve all pledged allegiance to him already. So much for democracy.
  6. Does that bother me? Well, yes. In the Duterte administration, judging only by what he has said, the citizen has no role but to follow. At no point in that speech were we rallied toward anything except to believe that he could do it. “I assure you.” Seems like a far cry from election speak when he would say, “I can’t do this without you.” But yeah, the rule everywhere now, in households too: Don’t do drugs or buy them and if you use well, tough. Hope you don’t get killed. If your friends use or buy or push, stay away from them. Make them feel more alone than they already are.
  7. A comparison of widows? It seems widows who lose husbands in war, maybe in the hands of the ASG (who aren’t criminals daw), are favored over the ones who lose theirs in encounters with police kasi nanlaban. It’s bad enough that the woman hugging her husband on yesterday’s front page became a national spectacle but just today the highest office of the land mocked her grief and called it drama. The house broke into applause. Jesus. What a circus this is. Who needs lions?
  8. The Mindanao bits: While it is historic to have three Mindanawons in power, Bato keeps issuing statements about sending erring cops to Mindanao. Why kaya? Is it your only ace to mask incompetence that you maintain the mystery and fear around the islands? No one seems to really know why and in case you get the chance to ask him, please do because I like him. I think I’d enjoy having drinks with Bato, you know?
  9. Mining and the IPs plus industrialization. No excuses naman talaga to not pursue industrialization but after having seen the limitations of offices like NCIP or the weird IPRA law–I don’t understand why IPs were addressed like abusive children and told to behave? This isn’t just about mining but I’m beginning to sense that Gina Lopez and the president are truly alike. They go by emotion and never temper it with reason. Sayang. The SONA also revealed the tourism policy of opening up communities and essentially selling the Philippines. Ok lang naman sana but then I’m reminded of Tom Killip’s bid to prevent the road from being built into town in Sagada long time ago. Remember? Oh who cares.
  10. What do I hope for? Nothing in that speech but I have a long list. People still go out to vote and even if I disagree with their reasons, they still believe in government and welcome the chance to change so I will take my cues from them. I will also read up more on our past kasi tama pa rin si Lolo Jose: “Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinangalingan ay hindi makakarating sa paroroonan.” 🙂 Baka tumira nalang din ako sa Sulu?

Bukas na yung human rights pwede? Iniisip ko pa kung itatapon ko nalang yung readings at syllabus ko. Wala palang kwentang subject yan? Dapat hindi ko nalang inaral o tinuro. Leche. Pakisabihan nga yang mga Heswita na yan na ibalik na sakin yung kamangmangan ko! Ignorance is bliss, pare. Kampay!

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