PSG readies ‘360-degree shield’ for Duterte’s SONA

Published July 21, 2020, 4:59 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The Presidential Security Group (PSG) is aiming to ensure “a peaceful, successful and a COVID-free” State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Duterte next Monday.


PSG commander Col. Jesus Durante III said they will implement additional security and health measures to provide “a 360-degree shield” for the President when he delivers his fifth SONA at the House of Representatives in Quezon City.

“All our security preparations work towards the end goal of a peaceful, successful and a COVID-free SONA 2020 of the President,” Durante said.

He said the PSG, alongside the Office of the President-Event Management Cluster (OP-EMC), started to prepare a “heightened level of security measures from previous SONAs while working closely with other government agencies involved to ensure a 360-degree shield for the President and the safety of the whole venue.”

“With the ongoing pandemic, PSG will enforce additional health security measures adopted from the implementing guidelines of the PSG Task Force COVID-19, Department of Health (DOH), and Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), as expected,” he said.

Malacañang has announced the President has decided to deliver his SONA before a joint session of Congress at the Batasan complex on July 27 instead of making the address through a video conference from the Palace.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the President is determined to perform his duties, including delivering his SONA, despite the threat of the coronavirus.

“Physically, he has said he will go. I think it’s also to send the message that we continue to live our lives despite COVID-19,” he said.

Under the Constitution, the President must deliver his SONA before Congress at the opening of its regular session every fourth Monday of July.  The speech usually contains the President’s report on the state of the country and plans for the coming year.