Online SONA a 'safe fallback,' says Palace

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 07 2020 03:17 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte gives his intervention as he joins other leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries during the 36th ASEAN Summit video conference at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on June 26, 2020. King Rodriguez, Presidential Photo

MANILA-- Having President Rodrigo Duterte deliver his penultimate State of the Nation Address (SONA) online would be a "safe fallback," Malacañang said on Tuesday as the threat of COVID-19 remains.

The options being considered for the President's SONA are having the chief executive deliver it at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City before a limited number of lawmakers, or via videoconferencing from the Palace in Manila, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said.

Duterte is set to deliver his fifth SONA on July 27.

When asked if the Palace prefers to hold the President's SONA online, Roque responded: "I would say that’s a safe fallback position."

Traditionally, government officials, lawmakers, and business leaders convene at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City for the President's SONA.

The Palace spokesman, however, noted that the mode for the SONA does not matter as long as the President delivers his report.

"Ang importante naman, mag-ulat sa Kongreso, and the Constitution does not require from where the President will report," Roque said.

(What's important is to report to Congress and the Constitution does not require from where the President will report.)