Roque rates Duterte SONA ‘9 out of 10’

July 28, 2020
Rodrigo Duterte

A DAY after delivering his fifth and penultimate State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Rodrigo Duterte deserves a near perfect grade, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

In a virtual presser, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque was convinced that Duterte’s SONA highlights major key points Filipinos need to know.

“Sa akin po, nine out of 10 ang grado ng Presidente,” Roque said, when asked how he would rate Duterte’s SONA.

Duterte’s fifth SONA focused on his government’s plan to help the country recover from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In his SONA speech, Duterte also renewed his vow to pursue diplomatic approach to resolve the South China Sea disputes, protect human rights in the Philippines, and speed up transactions in governments.

Duterte also cited his legislative priorities during this year’s SONA.

Duterte’s penultimate SONA lasted for 100 minutes. It is longer compared to his fourth SONA which lasted for 93 minutes.

His longest SONA was his second, which lasted for 120 minutes. His first and third SONAs lasted for 90 minutes and 48 minutes, respectively.

Asked to explain why he rated Duterte’s fifth SONA “nine out 10,” Roque said Duterte’s speech could have been shorter since there were already pre-SONA fora launched by the government.

“Well, sa akin naman po, siguro ‘yung sa pagsulat ng speech, number one, mahaba. One hour and 40 [minutes]. Eh meron na ngang pre-SONA (For me, the speech was lengthy. It lasted for one hour and 40 minutes. We already had pre-SONA [fora so it could have been shorter]),” Roque said.

Roque also believed that Duterte’s SONA should have “quotable quotes.”

“Kung ako ang nagsulat diyan, mas marami akong ilalagay na quotable quotes sa simula at sa ending ng speech,” he said.

Several analysts and public officials have claimed that Duterte’s penultimate SONA did not provide a concrete action plan to address the COVID -19 pandemic and instead focused on tirades against critics.

Roque belied their claim and called them “deaf” for not listening to Duterte’s proposals on how to combat COVID-19.

He noted that Duterte, in his fifth SONA, urged Congress to pass several measures, including the proposed Bayanihan 2, to help speed up the country’s recovery from the COVID -19 crisis.

“Siguro po bingi sila. Pero nakita ko po ‘yun (Perhaps, they are deaf. But I have heard him [lay out his plans to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country),” Roque said. PNA