FORMER president Benigno Aquino 3rd has once again skipped President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).
Following tradition and protocol, former presidents have been invited to Duterte’s SONA before the joint session of Congress at the Batasang Pambansa on Monday.
Aside from Aquino, the others are former presidents Fidel Ramos, Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada, and Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of Pampanga.
In a report, Aquino was quoted saying that he would watch Duterte’s speech in his house on Times Street in Quezon City instead. He also did not attend Duterte’s first SONA in 2016.
Apart from past presidents and incumbent lawmakers, others invited to Duterte’s second SONA were Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo, lawmakers’ spouses, Cabinet members, Supreme Court justices, members of the diplomatic corps, and other special guests.
Meanwhile, Duterte’s children – Sara, Paolo and Sebastian – also attended their father’s SONA. Their mother, Elizabeth Zimmerman, however, skipped the event.
The President’s common law wife Cielito “Honeylet” Avanceña and daughter Victoria “Kitty” Duterte were also present during the event.