JV to deliver ‘real’ SONA

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THE Senate minority bloc will deliver its counter-SONA (State of the Nation Address) that will state the “real” situation the country is in, Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito said on Tuesday.

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But the senator clarified that the opposition’s SONA is not meant to criticize President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s administration but to help it improve its performance.

He said he got the blessing to deliver the contra-Sona from Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, who is detained in Camp Crame in Quezon City for his alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam.

Ejercito added that he asked Enrile if there is a need for the minority bloc to deliver a counter-SONA and the minority leader told him that they should since it has been four years since one was heard.

“In a democracy, a responsible and a constructive opposition is essential, so I’m hoping that the President would look at the conter-SONA as something that would help improve his governance, not as criticism,” he said.

Among the issues the minority will be discussing in the counter-SONA are the looming power crisis that threatens to hit the country next year, job generation capability of the government and plight of the agricultural sector.

The senator claimed that the figures stated by the President in his SONA did not match the real figures they obtained particularly on job generation and economic growth.

“We are still verifying some figures presented by the President in his SONA that we find unconvincing. But it is not the fault of the President. It could be the members of the Cabinet who fed him with wrong information,” Ejercito said.

The senator added that he will also tackle the free trade agreement among members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) that is expected to have a serious impact on the agriculture sector.

“We will be feeding the President information and I hope he will respond to it positively, considering that the administration only got less than two years to do it right,” he said.

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