No blame game in Duterte's first SONA: Andanar

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 19 2016 09:41 AM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte will not play the blame game when he gives his first State of the Nation Address (SONA), his spokesperson guaranteed Tuesday.

Speaking to radio dzMM, Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Secretary Martin Andanar said Duterte's historic address will focus on his legislative agenda rather than dwell on the shortcomings of previous administrations.

"Ito (SONA) ay magiging plano ng Pangulo, roadmap niya para sa susunod na anim na taon. Iyung mga legislative agenda na kanyang ilalatag para maintindihan ng taumbayan kung ano iyung kanyang mga prayoridad," he said.

Andanar also said the event will have minimal fanfare as guests are requested to come in business attire only, instead of the extravagant gowns and suits typically seen in previous SONAs.

The official said he is confident that guests will follow the subdued dress code requested by Duterte and incoming House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, in order to show empathy with the public.

"It's really about being sensitive to our kababayans, our fellow Filipinos. Alam naman nating iyung mga dadalo doon, may mga kaya naman iyang mga 'yan, pero let's not flaunt it," he said.

He added that award-winning director Brillante Mendoza will oversee camera shots to create a meaningful visual narrative of the SONA.

"Kung yung creative shot, visual narrative maayos iyung pagkakaplano, bawat kuha ng camera ay may ibig sabihin," he said.

Andanar declined to detail security plans for the even, saying Duterte's safety is "very sensitive" because of his campaign against illegal drugs.

Duterte's first policy speech is expected to run for less than an hour on July 25, he said.

Incoming Department of Finance spokesperson Paola Alvarez said Monday that the SONA may focus on Duterte's 10-point agenda, including the revival of the death penalty and the drive for constitutional change to allow a shift to a federal form of government.

Alvarez also discouraged militant groups from mounting rallies during the SONA, saying their concerns may be discussed with the government on other occasions.

There will be no classes in all levels in the entire Quezon City on the day of the President's SONA.

The SONA is the yearly policy speech of the president where he reports his achievements and plans, in the hopes of securing congressional support for his legislative agenda.