After 7 drafts, Aquino’s speech gets done-A A +A
Monday, July 23, 2012
MANILA – It took seven drafts, but President Benigno Aquino III is “fully prepared” for the State of the Nation Address (Sona) he will deliver today, Monday, a Malacañang official said.
“The President is good to go,” said presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, who revealed the speech was finished last Saturday by the chief executive, with his speech writers.
From Cebu City, both Mayor Michael Rama and Representative Tomas Osmeña of the south district will attend the Sona in Quezon City.
Mayor Rama expects President Aquino to focus on the economy and what to expect on his third year in office.
“Ang importante nga ato siyang hatagan ug latitude kay ikaduha pa ron niya nga tuig (It’s important for us to give him some latitude because he’s completed only his second year so far),” Rama said.
Congressman Osmeña believes the President will mention the favorable credit ratings and recent upgrades from international agencies that have expressed optimism about the Philippine economy.
“Of course, the President will mention his accomplishments but I think, he will concentrate on the economic gains,” Osmeña said.
There was no hint from Malacañang about the speech’s key points, with Lacierda saying only that the Sona will be “truthful” and “inspiring.”
“Everything the President will say in his Sona will be true. The accomplishments of the President in the past year will be part of it. There is a lot of good news that have received in recent years,” he said.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte earlier said the speech will be more than 30 pages.
President Aquino’s inaugural address in 2010 lasted for about 36 minutes, while his Sona in 2011 lasted 53 minutes.
Aquino’s four sisters—Ballsy, Viel, Pinky and Kris—and his Cabinet secretaries will be present at the Batasan Complex for the annual address.
The Philippine National Police went on full alert status Sunday in relation to the Sona.
Various groups are expected to conduct rallies and demonstrations while the President delivers his speech.
On the eve of the President’s address, the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (Courage) described the President’s campaign of “daang matuwid” (the straight and narrow path) as “a dead end].”
Government workers lamented how the Aquino government has allowed wages to stay stagnant; higher taxes and contributions but with less benefits; and the privatization and devolution of government offices, which threatens their job security.
In Cebu City, the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) Central Visayas will deliver its “People’s Sona” also today, Monday.
Bayan Central Visayas chairman Jaime Paglinawan said they will meet in Fuente Osmeña at 9 a.m. and will march to Colon St. for the program.
Paglinawan said their version of the Sona will demonstrate the “real state of the country,” where poverty and unemployment remain high.
Both Osmeña and Rama urged Cebuanos to just listen to the Sona, so they will be aware of the government’s agenda for the coming year. (Jill Beltran/VR/HDT/Sunnex/With ETB of Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 23, 2012.