Palace: Duterte 2nd SONA is 'realistic but hopeful'


Posted at Jul 23 2017 02:44 PM | Updated as of Jul 23 2017 04:49 PM

Palace: Duterte 2nd SONA is 'realistic but hopeful' 1

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte is set to deliver a "realistic but hopeful" second State of the Nation Address (SONA), Malacañang said Sunday.

"The President's State of the Nation Address will be rendered in broad strokes reviewing past achievements, stating the present situation and announcing future prospects," Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement.

"On the whole it will be frank, challenging, realistic but hopeful."

Duterte, who swept to power on a promise to curb criminality, has spent much of his first year in office defending a crackdown on illegal drugs that has seen thousands of suspected criminals killed.

He also raised hopes of ending the decades-long communist insurgency. But last week, Duterte said he no longer wanted to negotiate with leftist rebels after a string of attacks by the New People's Army (NPA).

Apart from the NPA, the Duterte government is also wrestling with a terrorist rampage that has left over 500 people dead in the southern city of Marawi.

The battle for Marawi has prompted the President to declare martial law in all of Mindanao. Congress on Saturday granted the his request to extend the declaration until December 31.

Duterte on Monday will deliver his SONA, which may run for about an hour and a half, Abella said.

"The speech is written in English, which the President is comfortable with, and if read straight should take approximately 50 minutes; given there will be pauses for applause and off-the-cuff remarks, the speech may take about an hour and 30 minutes," the official said.