Duterte’s final SONA is also longest in post-EDSA era
MANILA, Philippines — What was first intended to be an hour-long speech for President Rodrigo Duterte’s final State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday became the longest in the post-EDSA era.
Duterte’s final SONA started at around 4:13 p.m. and ended at around 6:58 p.m., with a total duration of two hours and 45 minutes. The president now holds the record for the longest SONA delivered in the post-EDSA era.
The record for the longest SONA was previously held by late President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III whose speech in 2015 lasted for two hours and 13 minutes.
Prior to Duterte’s speech, the Palace said the President’s final SONA will only last for around an hour.
Duterte began his speech by recalling his five-year stint so far as the country’s president, admitting that the experience has been “truly challenging and humbling.”
The President then went on to tackle several issues such as his calls for greater military and police support, the country’s fight against communist rebels, the Marawi rehabilitation, the controversial campaign against drugs, the state of transportation, corruption in the government, the West Philippine Sea issue, and his priority legislations, among others.
What many expected to be Duterte’s first agenda—the government’s COVID-19 pandemic response—was not mentioned until two hours into his speech.
Duterte warned Filipinos about the threat of COVID-19, especially with the rise of cases of the Delta variant and urged Filipinos to get vaccinated. But in the same breath, Duterte joked about contracting COVID-19 after stuttering with his words.