What to expect from Duterte's third SONA


Posted at Jul 17 2018 09:38 PM

What to expect from Duterte's third SONA 1
President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Batasang Pambansa on July 24, 2017. Karl Norman Alonzo, Malacañang Photo

MANILA- President Rodrigo Duterte is set to deliver his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 23.

With the red carpet already laid out and security measures being finalized, all eyes are on the firebrand President anew.

Here's what to expect from the President's upcoming speech:


Malacañang earlier said that President Duterte's speech this year will only last for 35 minutes since he promised to read from prepared remarks.

Presidential Communications Secretary Ana Marie Banaag, however, hinted on Tuesday that the President's speech may last longer, given that Congress is expected to ratify the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law in the morning of July 23. 

"In as much as the President wanted to shorten his speech, we don't know what would come up because that's up to Congress of course," she told ANC's "Beyond Politics."

Banaag added that Palace officials are not worried that Duterte, who usually deviates from his prepared remarks, would deliver a speech longer than 35 minutes "because people would want to listen to him."

"Even if the President talks for two hours, people are so fixated on what he wants to say so it's not really something we are worried about," she said.


The President will not tout his administration's accomplishments in his upcoming SONA as well but would instead speak as the nation's father, Banaag said.

"It's not more of what he claims he has accomplished, [what] this administration claims to have accomplished but it's more of the father who cares about the Filipino people," she said.

Banaag revealed that Duterte also removes parts of the draft speech which he feels "is not him" and "includes whatever he feels he wants to say."

"He practically is the writer of the speech already," she said.

Duterte also practices the delivery of his speech "over and over" whenever he has free time.


For this year, Malacañang decided to tap romantic-comedy film director Joyce Bernal to direct the President's SONA, replacing acclaimed director Brillante Mendoza.

Bernal earlier said she intends to use "sequencing shots" and "warm lighting" to capture Duterte's patriotism on camera.

According to Banaag, the female director is "clear of what she wants" in terms of directing the President's upcoming speech.

"She (Bernal) wanted to show how the President loves so much this country," Banaag said.

Unlike Mendoza, who drew both cheers and jeers for his unconventional use of shots and camera angles in the President’s speeches, Bernal "has not so deviated with the usual protocols and procedures," according to Banaag.

"Director Joyce Bernal is so hands on. She practically stays at the Malacañang and House of Representatives," Banaag said.

Banaag also said that Bernal is directing the President's SONA pro bono.


Malacañang earlier said Duterte will sign the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) before he delivers his third SONA.

But Banaag clarified that it still depends on whether Congress can finalize the bill in time for the President's speech.

"The aim is to have it signed during the SONA," she said.

Banaag also noted that during pre-SONA meetings, it has not been clarified whether the President will sign the proposed BBL before he delivers his speech, during, or after.

"We don't know yet," she said.

Banaag also floated that possibility that the President will defer from signing the proposed measure into law if he disagrees with the final version of the bill.

"The President has been so sensitive with the BBL, that's why it has dragged on for years," she said.