MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday said she hopes President Rodrigo Duterte's last State of the Nation Address (SONA) will be forthright as the country continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I expect the President to be very honest about the current state of the nation kasi we're in the middle of the pandemic and we want to hear all the good things that we hope for," she said in an interview with ANC.
It would be helpful if the President will be "very candid" on the Philippines' real situation regarding the COVID-19 crisis and government's plans for it, Robredo emphasized.
"The anxiety comes from not knowing where we are or what we hope to expect in the coming months," she said.
Duterte had been criticized for his SONA in 2020 for not laying out in detail his plans against COVID-19 in the Philippines as the number of cases continued to rise in the country.
Instead of detailing his strategy to curb the spread of the deadly pathogen then, he instead called out "oligarchs", citing the owners of broadcast firm ABS-CBN Corp., the franchise of which was denied by his allies in the lower House of Congress, days before his SONA.
Robredo, however, hopes that Duterte's last SONA will be a different one.
"I don't know if optimistic would be the correct term but I would hope that it would be that way," she said.
Human rights advocates on Monday gave Duterte a failing mark on his almost 6-year leadership as they urged the public to make him "accountable" over the alleged human rights violations during his term of office.
In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDefend) and Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) accused Duterte of committing human rights violations on workers, children, women.
They are planning to stage a protest during Duterte's last SONA on July 26.
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