Congress reacts to Duterte SONA

Congress reacts to Duterte SONA

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President Duterte arrives in Congress for his first SONA. Photo by King Rodriguez/PPD

President Duterte’s SONA showed his sincerity to ease the plight of Filipinos according to solons

More lawmakers lauded the first State of the Nation Address SONA (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte, which according to them showed his sincerity and sense of clarity in leading the nation and easing the plight of Filipinos.

House Speaker Pantaleon D. Alvarez said the President’s SONA was very sincere and clearly stated the path to be taken by the nation in the next six years. “It was most sincere and very clearly stated the direction we are going. It enumerated precisely what we need to do,” said the Speaker.

Alvarez said his favorite part of the SONA was when the President assured the people “You can trust me. This government will be clean.”

Rep. Cesar V. Sarmiento (Lone District, Catanduanes) said some of the points raised in the SONA were already started by the President prior to his formal inauguration and oath-taking, hence have already been showing results.

“Even before he was formally inaugurated and took his oath, there have been results already to some of his thrusts. The fight against illegal drugs is a phenomenon because of the big number of surrenderees. It showed the gravity of the drug problem and highlighted the need for iron hand to eradicate it,” said Sarmiento.

Sarmiento said being a former mayor is a big advantage for the President because it enabled him to know first-hand the problems of the majority of the people.

“Example is the long list of requirements by agencies. He ordered that it be reduced to three to lessen the queuing. This is appreciated by many,” said Sarmiento, chairman of the Committee on Transportation during the 16th Congress.

Rep. Rodolfo Albano III (1st District, Isabela) said the President was very concise and clear on his plans for the country in the next six years. He also lauded the President for relaying his message to the people in a very natural and sincere way.

“There was no pretension. He was very candid in stating these are the things he wanted to do for the people during his entire term,” said Albano.

Rep. Mylene Garcia-Albano (2nd District, Davao City) said the very concise SONA of the President proved he fully knows the problems in the country. “He really knows what the problems are.”

Rep. Prospero Pichay, Jr. (1st District, Surigao del Sur) said the President’s SONA revealed the President wanted to ease the burden being faced by the people.

“He did not call the people his bosses, but he assured them he will improve their lives by eliminating the cause of their woes. “He wanted things to be always easy and available for the people like the passports validity extension, free water system, food for the people and education program for the youth,” said Pichay.

One thing the President was passionate about is his anti-drugs campaign as reflected in his SONA according to Pichay. “He is very passionate in his anti-drugs fight because he knows that if we don’t prioritize it, our country will deteriorate and become a narco state. Young people instead of becoming brilliant in the future will instead be just hooked on drugs.”

Pichay said the President’s anti-criminality and anti-illegal drugs campaign platform is what contributed largely to his resounding victory because the drug problem has already reached the barangay level of communities.

“Lahat ng mga bayan may problem sa drugs. The figures he gave that there are 70,000 drug pushers and 120 drug lords may be even conservative. I think it is worse,” said Pichay.

Rep. Roger Mercado (Lone District, Southern Leyte) described the President’s SONA as an honest and down-to-earth speech, and allowed him to effectively communicate with the ordinary Filipino people.

“People understood what he is saying. It is about what is happening today especially about drugs. I hope our people will listen to him because he really means business. We support his legislative agenda like the traffic emergency powers, decentralization, federalism, support for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), among others. The essence of his agenda should be felt by our regions and this can be done by decongesting Metro Manila and develop the regions by giving them the needed help and support,” said Mercado.

Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles (1st District, Davao City) said it was obvious from the SONA that the President’s focus is peace.

“Peace in our communities against the drug menace. Peace with the CPP-NDF. Peace in Mindanao. Also peace in the economic front with better jobs and better infrastructure. Peace for all commuters. Peace with China. It showed his consistency with his promise when he campaigned and won the elections. He really wants peace for everyone in their fight against the problems confronting them in their places, and to have peace of mind knowing that the government is working for them and improving its services through eliminating red tape. You can really see the sincerity of the President to make government work for the people, and to ease the people’s burdens and enable them to trust an honest government,” said Nograles.

Rep. Eric Olivarez (1st District, Parañaque City) said the SONA discussed the President’s plans for the next six years and mentioned three important factors namely: prevent criminality; prevent corruption; and prevent illegal drugs.

“He also mentioned a lot of prospects regarding education and social services. It was a very comprehensive SONA. My favorite part was when he stressed we must get rid of drugs, and cut down on corruption and criminality,” said Olivarez.




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