Duterte cracks up audience; speech no tearjerker
In the first state event directed by an internationally acclaimed filmmaker, the main star went off-script not once… but many times.
President Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address (Sona) yesterday wasn’t a tearjerker, as his aide put it.
The speech turned out to be one to crack up his power audience. He spiced it up with quips that only the firebrand former Davao City mayor could get away with.
Framed in film director Brillante Mendoza’s worm eye view shots and lingering close-ups on his hands and profile, Duterte did not shed his informal style of public speaking, several times joking about the length of his address in Congress.
“‘Wag na yan! (Let’s skip that),” he said many times at the teleprompter. He also joked to an aide who handed him a glass of water, as his speech, supposedly 38 minutes long, extended to about three times the length.
When he spoke about relaxing the bank secrecy law, Duterte caught himself. At the height of the campaign, he was pilloried for alleged undeclared wealth.
“I am now President… I didn’t want to meddle with this but… you know,” said Mr. Duterte, drawing laughter from lawmakers privy to the not-so-private joke.
“It’s a proletarian speech. It’s a populist speech. But you can see it is meant for the masses. His message to the masses was clear,” said Sen. Richard Gordon.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen the President go off-script that many times,” said Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri.
“But it goes to show that this is the Duterte style, this is the Duterte fever. He’s really like that. That’s why so many people voted for him, they are very happy with him. It is from the heart, it is crude, it is effective, he is speaking like a true local executive. He wants to be called mayor of the Philippines, and he is doing it the right way,” Zubiri said. TVJ
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