MANILA - A lawmaker on Tuesday criticized President Rodrigo Duterte's last report to the nation for devoting bulk of his hours-long speech to his bloody anti-drug crackdown.
"What President Duterte failed to do in almost 3 hours is the opposite of what Hidilyn Diaz did in 17 seconds. Hidilyn brought the glory but we were given another painful 3-hour rambling speech of oft-repeated lies of Duterte in his last SONA (State of the Nation Address)," Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Ferdinand Gaite told ANC's "Rundown".
Gaite was referring to Diaz's win in the Tokyo Olympics as the weightlifter created sporting history when she became the country's first Olympic gold medalist.
"It was very disappointing. It was very tiring. Nothing new was presented during his last and hopefully final SONA," he said.
Instead of tackling basic concerns of Filipinos such as creation of more jobs, measures to improve the economy and faster rollout of COVID-19 vaccination, the President focused on crime, corruption and the illegal drug trade, the lawmaker said.
"These were the basic concerns, which we did not really see how Duterte plan to address these concerns," Gaite said.
"Instead, the usual gamut of old record discussion on the anti-communist insurgency, the failed anti-drug campaign, the supposed criminality, and his statement that he can't do anything anymore about corruption since it is endemic supposedly in our country," he added.
Critics have slammed Duterte's final SONA as a "wasted opportunity" for failing to discuss his plans against COVID-19 and plans to control inflation.
The Philippines has reported local transmission of the virulent Delta variant, which is responsible for the latest waves of infections in parts of the world.
The country's economy also remained in recession, with gross domestic product contracting 4.2 percent in the first quarter.