Aquino arrives at Batasan for last Sona
President Benigno Aquino III has arrived at the House of Representatives Complex in Quezon City for his final State of the Nation Address (Sona) at 3:33 p.m. Monday.
Aquino was received by Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Lt. Gen Hernando Iriberri, Senate sergeant-at-arms Jose Balajadia Jr. and House sergeant-at-arms Nicasio Radovan Jr.
At the end of the honor guards formation, he was met by Senate President Franklin Drilon and House Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte Jr.
The President will be welcomed by other Senate and House officials.
He will proceed to the session hall for the joint session before 4 p.m.
Communications Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr. said this year’s Sona will be a “story of governance,” as well as history.
Aquino, who was catapulted to the presidency by his mother former president Corazon Aquino’s death and a reform-oriented campaign, will face his “bosses” to give his last comprehensive report on the achievements of his administration.
The speech, which may be as long as an hour or even more, is expected to discuss the promises fulfilled by Aquino, whose main campaign slogan is “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap (If there are no corrupt officials, there would be no poor people).”
While he continues to enjoy relatively high satisfaction ratings compared with his predecessors, Aquino had also faced a number of challenges, including the bloody Mamasapano operation, which resulted in the death of more than 60 people.
Aquino was accused of being responsible of the encounter between the Philippine National Police’s Special Action Force and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which signed a peace deal with the government.
Because of what happened, the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), which is a product of the said peace pact, remains stalled in Congress. The peace negotiations with the MILF and the passage of the BBL are among the potential achievements that could define Aquino’s term.
This is in addition to his fight against corruption and his promise of good governance. IDL
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