Duterte confirms SONA attendance; Robredo declines

At a glance

  • House Secretary General Reginald Velasco said former president Rodrigo Duterte has confirmed his attendance to the upcoming State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 24 in Batasan Complex, Quezon City.

  • As for former vice president Leni Robredo, Velasco said she was also invited, but declined to go.

20230719_154533.jpg Former president Rodrigo Duterte (left) and former vice president Leni Robredo (Malacañang photo, MANILA BULLETIN)

The top two leaders of the previous administration won't be seeing each other in Batasan Complex next week when President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. delivers his second State of the Nation Address (SONA).

House Secretary General Reginald Velasco told reporters Wednesday afternoon, July 19 that former president Rodrigo Duterte--Marcos' direct predecessor--has confirmed his attendance to the upcoming SONA.

The big event will take place Monday, July 24 at Batasan Complex in Quezon City--home of the House of Representatives.

It was only last Monday, July 17 when Velasco revealed that Vice President Sara Duterte had confirmed her own attendance to the SONA. The Vice President is the eldest  daughter of the former chief executive.

The House official said the next step would be to determine whether or not the two Dutertes would be seated together.

"Kailangan kasi may clearance doon sa dalawa eh. Kini-clear namin doon sa mga VIP (It would need clearance from the two. We're clearing it from the VIPs)," he said, adding that the House wants the SONA guests to be "comfortable".

Meanwhile, Velasco said former vice president Leni Robredo--the younger Duterte’s direct predecessor--had also been invited to attend the SONA this year. He said she declined.

Robredo was the opposition standard-bearer during the May 2022 national elections. She was a far second to Marcos in the presidential race.

Another Duterte who is expected to attend the President’s annual speech is Davao City 1st district Rep. Paolo Duterte, the Vice President's brother.