The State of the Nation Address of the President should be what it purports to be – a narrative of how the Philippines truly is under his administration and a realistic vision of what lies ahead. We don’t want him to be talking of things that the people don’t see and feel, as if he’s referring to another country.
Here’s how his fourth SONA this Monday should go:
(Applause from congressmen and senators.)
“I haven’t started and you’re already applauding! Praise undeserved is slander in disguise. You should be ashamed of yourself.
(Applause from the gallery and from the people watching on television.)
“After four years in office, I have realized that I should be more candid with the people. “My parents didn’t raise me to be a liar. My spokesmen lie for me. I have ordered them to stop lying from now on. I want to leave behind a legacy of honesty, and I want to start with this address. My previous SONAs were long because they were full of lies. This one will be the shortest because I’ll speak only of the truth.
“It has always been my dream to institute true reform in government. This is a difficult task given that this would have meant no more pork barrel system for lawmakers. Sonny Belmonte wouldn’t have been elected Speaker had I immediately abolished the PDAF.
(Belmonte wipes sweat from face. Murmurs on the floor.)
“Without the pork and the DAP we gave to senators and congressmen, and with the incompetence of the House prosecutors, I wouldn’t have succeeded in ousting Chief Justice Renato Corona whom I considered the main roadblock in our quest for judicial reform.
(Rep. Niel Tupas Jr. of Iloilo shrieks.)
“Mga boss, you wanted the pork abolished. I’ve found it difficult to do so without losing my control over the House. Upon the advice of Budget Secretary Butch Abad, we abolished the PDAF but placed pet projects of legislators in the budgets of various departments. That’s why there were no protests from you even if the PDAF was officially abolished.
“This charade has to stop now. I can’t leave behind a legacy of honesty if this continues. I have directed Secretary Abad to remove from the 2015 national budget those projects of legislators that don’t conform with our set of priorities. Secretary Abad had opposed this directive. I told him that if he couldn’t follow my order, he should quit.
(Applause from the gallery and from those watching on television.)
“I’ve followed the advice of Secretary Abad for so long. His advice on the creation of the DAP is the main reason why I’m now in a deep fix. My rating has gone down to record levels and three impeachment complaints have been filed against me.
(Secretary Abad is seen pulling at his hair.)
“I wanted faster implementation of projects and if they move at a turtle’s pace, then they should be transferred to other projects with more impact on the economy. At the Senate hearing last Thursday, I learned from Secretary Abad that the funds for DAP had totaled P237.5 billion since 2011 but only P144.4 billion was released to fund various projects to spur socio-economic development. This meant that more than P90 billion wasn’t used to stimulate the economy. Had I known that the government didn’t have the absorptive capacity, I would have reduced the savings and returned the funds to where they had originated.
“Going back to the Senate hearing, I noted the defense given by Senate President Franklin Drilon and Senator Sonny Trillanes for the DAP. I feel embarrassed that they should be defending what I now recognize as an assault on the inherent power of the purse of Congress. I humbly admit I erred in pursuing DAP. I’m ordering government lawyers to withdraw our motion for reconsideration.
(A loud thud is heard behind the President. Drilon has fallen off his chair.)
“I’m asking Congress to repeal all laws that water down the power of the purse of Congress. This includes PD 1177 which is of martial law vintage and three sections of the Administrative Code. I also hope that Congress will finally enact the Anti-Trust Law to prevent industries from stifling competition and controlling prices.
“And to show that I’m for honest and open governance, I’m hereby transmitting to Congress a certified copy of the Freedom of Information Act.
“To bolster my call for unity, I’m shedding the yellow ribbon on my lapel in favor of a pin of the Philippine flag.
“Good day at maraming salamat.”
(He receives a standing ovation and applause longer than his entire address.)