President Duterte Delivers his First SONA

Manila, Philippines-The new President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte delivers his first State of the Nation Address on June2016. In his speech, he “knew what the ills of our country were,” and he addressed these in his SONA.

Rodrigo Duterte was former Mayor of Davao City before running for presidential elections. He has been making his name in the news especially for his declaration of war on drugs in which he also given time in his address.

“During my inauguration last 30 [June] 2016, I said that the fight against criminality and illegal drugs and corruption will be relentless and sustained. I reiterate that commitment today. And that is why I call on the Philippine National Police, the barangay chairmen, the Mayors, and Governors and all those occupying seats of power and authority, not to lower their guard. There will be no let-up in this campaign.”

The President even told them to double their efforts and to “triple them, if needed be.” He implies that there is no stopping his administration in this war on drugs, that they won’t stop until the last drug lord is put behind bars.

As this war is being held, there are protests against this campaign, using Human Rights as their weapon. Duterte was prepared for this topic as he included it in his SONA.

Eh kung ayaw ninyong mamatay, ayaw ninyong masaktan, huwag kayong umasa diyan sa mga pari pati Human Rights, hindi nakakapigil yan ng kamatayan. So huwag ninyong gawin. Eh tapos nandiyan ka nakabulagta and you are portrayed in a broadsheet na parang Mother Mary cradling the dead cadaver of Jesus Christ. [If you don’t want to die and be hurt, don’t have false hopes with priests and Human Rights, it will not stop death. So don’t do it. And then you’re being shown, portrayed in a broadsheet like Mother Mary cradling the dead cadaver of Jesus Christ.]”

Aside from telling everyone not to use Human Rights as a protest against dug killings, his administration will be sensitive to Human Rights, especially to the poor and marginalized. He also said it must “uplift human dignity” and not to be used as a “shield or excuse to destroy the country.”

President Duterte SONA did not only address his war on drugs. He also expressed his interest to implement federalism in the country. He even gave advice to “maintain a federal system, a parliament, but be sure to have a president” and copy the French parliament. However, he declared himself as “disqualified” for that position and that he will no longer would be here when the time comes.

He also addressed to traffic and other government concerns. Such as implementing an anti-colorum campaign and submitting government requirements like NBI. He told everyone to “make use of the computers” for faster and more effective processing of documents.

The new president indeed has already something up to work even though he was just appointed in to the position which are all implied in hi SONA. As his followers say, “change is coming.” He ended his speech stating how resilient Filipinos are, and promoting unity in his country.

-Nicole Naval

Related Article: Duterte Holds Private Dinner after SONA

Watch: People’s Take on Duterte’s First SONA

Listen: 5 Tips for More Effective Writing


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