Duterte may focus on drugs, crime, corruption in 4th SONA: Palace

Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 19 2019 07:10 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte does the thumbs up gesture while delivering his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the joint session of the 17th Congress at the House of Representatives, July 23, 2018. Robinson Ninal Jr., Malacañang Photo/File

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte will likely focus on his 2016 campaign issues such as the war on drugs, crime and corruption when he delivers his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Friday.

“My educated guess is he will be focusing on the same campaign issues he enunciated at the start of the campaign until his assumption [of] the Presidency, which are corruption, criminality, drugs, terrorism, maybe the West Philippine Sea,” Panelo told reporters.

Panelo added the President would discuss what his administration intends to do on these issues in the remaining 3 years of his term.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar earlier told ANC that Duterte’s SONA would center on his legacy.

Malacañang said this year’s speech would be short because the 3 pre-SONA forums were able to extensively discuss the administration’s achievements in its third year in office.

“Ordinarily, the President will be discussing achievements of his administration on a particular year, and since the pre-SONAs are already doing that so I don’t think the President will have to repeat that,” Panelo said last Wednesday.

Duterte earlier said he would use his SONA to educate his critics accusing him of violating the Constitution when he allowed Chinese fishermen to benefit from Philippine marine resources in the West Philippine Sea.

The recent Pulse Asia survey shows that workers' salaries, prices of basic goods, and employment continue to top the list of issues they want Duterte to discuss in his State of the Nation Address.

“Eh matagal na nilang naririnig sa Presidente di ba dini-discuss na noon sa mga pre-SONA, marami na kaming policy statements," Panelo said when asked for comment.

(You have been hearing that from the President, many policy statements have been discussed in the pre-SONA.)

"But that will not prevent the President from articulating on those issues,” he added.

He said the administration has done a very successful job in addressing these issues.

“Based on statistics, employment has increased, poverty level has gone down, di ba mas maraming may trabaho ngayon, ang prices of commodities bumalik na sa dati (there are more jobs now, prices of commodities are back to what was before). So it’s a success,” Panelo said.