Thursday, July 28, 2016

SONA spiced with classic
Duterte "delivery" brand 

TAGBILARAN CITY, July 25 (PIA) –True to form and substance, President Rodrigo R. Duterte read, mumbled obviously too hassled reading through teleprompter, broke away and spiced his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) with quips that stirred and connected with people: his true brand of engaging. 

From the initial line, when everybody loosened like the slow start of presidential speeches, Duterte immediately broke this by directed the gathering of Senators and Congressmen on the opening of the 17th Congress to the men from Mindanao now occupying the seats on top. 

That same day, the senate elected senator Aquilino Pimentel III (Cagayan de Oro) Senate President while earlier, Congress also elected Congressman Pantaleon Alvarez (Davao del Norte) as House Speaker. 

Earlier too, Palace sources have said the prepared SONA could take roughly 40 minutes excluding interruptions and pauses. 

Pre-SONA leaks of the presidential address also got him teary-eyed, said Communications chief Martin Andanar. 

But as soon as the President took to the center podium, he immediately broke his focus on the prepared speech every now and then and spiced the message with his own wit and impish remarks that has seemingly endeared him to the people who apparently abhor monotonous speeches in SONAs. 

While reading, sometimes stammering and mumbling possibly from long compositions on the teleprompter, the president whipped up interest in the usual brand of conversation from his heart that has him close to his audience. 

“He's certainly grappling with that idiot board scrolling up his speech. At some point he stopped using it and went ad lib. At times when he returned to it he had to instruct the person manning its speed to move it up or slow it down,” a netster and Tagbilaran City barangay official Clement Paulinel Inking notes. 

Even then, he talked , argued, laid his plans, spelled the details when needed and defined his vision by laying out his administration’s goals, aided by smart wit that had congressmen whom he accused of not supporting him in the past elections, laughing. 

And within all these, the administration's priorities include strengthening of the campaign against drugs, Mindanao peace, solving traffic, streamlining bureaucracy, modernizing agriculture and the adoption of a federal government. 

While garnering over 90% confidence rating among Filipinos, the SONA still could not calm down the critics who pointed out that they had high expectations from the president. 

"We wanted him to act like a president," a critic intoned. 

Most also pinned on the president the alarming numbers of drug personalities getting killed, apparently referencing these to the implied president’s order for the authorities to get serious about drugs and clearly pass his message of his abhorrence to drugs. 

Beyond all this, the president still instructed the police, “Do your job and you will have the unwavering support of the office of the President," which again drew enthusiastic applause. 

That same day, a CCTV capture of a hitman who got the surprise of his life when a police in civilian clothes picked him before he could hurt his target in Batangas. This video circulated in social media circles now proves even hitmen are now getting their share of crimes while critics blame police brutality over these apparent summary executions of drug personalities and petty criminals. 

And possibly referring to the campaign which has earned the open criticism of the Commission on Human Rights, he blared, “human rights must work to uplift human dignity, [it] rights can not be used as a shield to destroy the country.

This drew a ripple of applause that soon encompassed the halls. 

On the other hand, he also warned police officers not to “abuse your authority” because there will be hell to pay. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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