Duterte ‘100-percent ready’ to deliver 4th SONA – Palace official

Published July 21, 2019, 5:25 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Genalyn Kabiling 

President Duterte is 100 percent ready to deliver his State of the Nation Address (SONA) that will focus on building his legacy to the nation, according to a Malacañang official.

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar (ALBERT ALCAIN/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the President has edited and cut his fourth SONA speech to less than 20 pages, rehearsed its delivery, and even got tips about reading from a teleprompter at the Palace last Friday.

“100 (percent) and ready na bukas (Monday),” Andanar said in a radio interview when asked about the President’s SONA preparations.

“Ilang beses niya itong inedit from 28 pages, naging 19 pages na lamang ang speech [He edited the speech a few times. From 28 pages, the speech has been reduced to 19 pages]. We are expecting it to be at least 17 to 18 pages to last for 45 minutes and one hour depending sa speed ni President [depending on the President’s speed],” he said.

Based on the SONA practice, Andanar said the President was able to deliver the speech, that includes his accomplishments and plans for the next three years, in less than one hour without adlib remarks. He added that it depends on the President’s mood if he will add other spontaneous comments during the SONA.

In reading the speech from the teleprompters placed on his left and right sides, the President has been asked by director Joyce Bernal to also “look at the center,” according to Andanar.

“When you look at the prompter on the left side, the tendency of the person reading the teleprompter is diretso sa right. ‘Yun ang request tumingin sa gitna, sa camera [is to look at the right. That’s the request, he should also look at the center, in front of the camera]” he said.

Last year, the President read his prepared SONA speech from a teleprompter. His 2018 speech lasted for 48 minutes, his shortest SONA so far.

A unique addition to this year’s SONA will be the involvement of the world-renowned Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) as proposed by Bernal, according to Andanar.

He said the PPO is expected to play the Philippine national anthem and the President’s favorite songs.

“Sa palagay ko naman maganda rin kasi it’s another first in the State of the Nation Address [ I think this is a good idea because it’s another first in the State of the Nation Address],” he said.

Asked if the President will break into song during his SONA, Andanar said: “Hindi naman siguro [I don’t think so].”

With three years left in office, Andanar said Duterte is expected to focus on implementing his legacy programs on poverty alleviation, infrastructure development, and peace and order efforts particularly in resolving the communist insurgency.

“For the next three years, it’s all about Duterte legacy,” he said.

He said Duterte’s legacy projects such as railways, subways, and other infrastructure programs will become the “gold standard” or “barometer” which the next president will have to meet or surpass.

“We have to improve the lives of Filipinos. We have to improve the lives of the next generation and that’s the responsibility of each President who comes in to govern the nation,” he said.

He said issues about the campaign against corruption, West Philippine Sea policy, and legislative proposals such as the national land use act would be likely featured in the President’s SONA on Monday.

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