Duterte’s SONA ‘solid, forward-looking’ – Palace

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PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte will deliver a “sensible, solid, and forward-looking” speech when he ad-dresses the nation on Monday, Malacañang said on Thursday.

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In a press conference, Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella said Duterte would most likely give the speech his “personal take” and “not just an ordinary technical report” in his second State of the Nation Address (SONA).

“As far as I can see, like he is, he will give it a personal take. Of course, it’s called the President’s report. It’s not just a technical report,” Abella told reporters.

“It comes from a very personal perspective as a leader. And looking forward, he will also give a sense of where we are going, where he is leading us into the near future. It should be a sensible and solid and forward-looking,” he added.

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the public should expect a “longer but more meaningful” speech from the President for his SONA.

“Let’s expect that this will be a really meaningful SONA because it is not technical, unlike the last SO-NA. This time, the projects that the beneficiaries felt will be mentioned in the SONA,” Andanar said in a radio interview over the weekend.

The increase in length of this year’s SONA, Andanar said, was due to the Duterte administration’s ac-complishments, as well as his plans for the rest of his term.

Andanar added that the President may mention issues, including the Marawi siege and alleged resur-gence of illegal drug trade in the national penitentiary.

“We know the President, he is full of surprises and at the same time, when he’s very passionate about an idea, he will adlib. It’s good because it only means he is very passionate about a certain topic or is-sue,” he said.

War against illegal drugs, peace talks, and tax reforms were among Duterte’s promises in his SONA in 2017.

Duterte is currently in Davao City where he will practice his SONA speech with the Presidential Man-agement Staff.

Andanar has said that he and his staff would be in Davao by Thursday “to assist the President in finaliz-ing his speech and to brief him what to expect from production.”

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