Duterte to ‘educate’ critics in ‘short’ 4th SONA: Palace

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 16 2019 04:52 PM

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCC) Day at the Malacañan Palace on July 11, 2019. Albert Alcain, Presidential Photo

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte will “educate” critics who claim that he is violating the Philippine charter when he delivers his “short” 4th State of the Nation Address (SONA) next week, Malacañang said Tuesday.

Duterte will no longer discuss achievements of his administration in his July 22 report to the people since there are already 3 pre-SONA forums for that, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said.

“He (Duterte) said ‘oh it will be short.’ Maybe because there are pre-SONAs. Ordinarily, the President will be discussing achievements of his administration for a particular year and since the pre-SONAs are already doing that, I don’t think the President will have to repeat that,” Panelo told reporters.

Duterte, who is known for his long speeches and off-the-cuff remarks, earlier said he might use his fourth address as an opportunity to "educate" Filipinos after outrage on his claim that Manila cannot bar Beijing from the West Philippine Sea.

"'Yung sabi nila na unconstitutional... maybe sa SONA, I will educate people na 'yung ginawa ko sabi ko 'you can fish', tama talaga ako," Duterte said.

(What they say is unconstitutional…maybe during the SONA, I will educate people that when I said “you can fish,” I was really right.) 

Duterte had courted criticism when he described earlier this month as “thoughtless and senseless” a constitutional provision stating that the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the country must be protected by the state.

Panelo later clarified that Duterte, in likening the Philippine constitution to a piece of toilet paper, was only emphasizing that China would not respect local laws with respect to its sweeping claims in the South China Sea which includes the West Philippine Sea.