Former Presidents – except Aquino – to attend Duterte’s 3rd Sona
Former President Benigno Aquino III will again skip the State of the Nation Address (Sona) of President Rodrigo Duterte next week — just as he did in the past two years.
The three other living former Presidents — Fidel Ramos and Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo — have confirmed their attendance in the Sona on July 23.
Sona on television
Arroyo represents the second district of Pampanga in the House of Representatives.
The House of Representatives press and public affairs bureau on Monday said Aquino “already sent regrets” to the chamber’s interparliamentary relations and special affairs bureau, which handles Sona protocol.
In previous years, Aquino said that he preferred to watch the Sona on television so he could better concentrate on the President’s message.
Vice President Leni Robredo said in a press briefing on July 10 that she had been invited and would attend the Sona.
Robredo used the occasion to announce her intention to lead and unite the opposition against the Duterte administration.
Other confirmed high-profile attendees are former Senate Presidents Juan Ponce Enrile, Aquilino Pimentel III and Manny Villar, and former House Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr.
Incumbent lawmakers and their spouses, Cabinet members, Supreme Court justices and members of the diplomatic corps are usually invited to the Sona as well.
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