MANILA — Opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros was dissatisfied with the fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte, calling it "State of China’s Affairs in the Philippines".
Hontiveros accused Duterte of "lawyering for China" rather than protecting the country’s territorial sovereignty.
“Sa isyu ng West Philippine Sea, parang hindi State of the Nation Address ang napakinggan ko kung hindi State of China’s Affairs in the Philippines,” Hontiveros told reporters on Monday.
“Nakakadismaya. I am really disappointed. Sa halip na ginamit ni Presidente ang kanilang SONA para sabihin sa lahat ng ating mga Pilipino kung paano niya ipagtatanggol ‘yung ating soberanya, parang nag-abogado pa siya para sa panig ng Tsina,” Hontiveros claimed.
For Hontiveros, even if the President boasted his anti-corruption record and other projects, they will not be enough to fill his shortcomings on the fight for territorial integrity and the rights of Filipino fishermen.
She, however, took note of several issues Duterte discussed during the SONA, such as the National Land Use Act.
She also opposed the reimposition of the death penalty being raised by the President.
Hontiveros gave Duterte a failing mark. “Kung ige-grade ko nga ang SONA ni Pangulong Duterte, 22 out of 100. Kasi yan ang bilang ng mga Pilipinong mangingisdang nabigo niyang ipangtanggol sa ating sariling karagatan.”