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SONA: DUTERTE SETS SIGHTS ON FUTURE WITHOUT BLAMING PAST ADMIN[RELATED: Press Sec Andanar: Ad-libs made Duterte's SONA more personal]
[President Rodrigo Duterte's speech was supposed to last 38 minutes but got extended to more than an hour and a half due to deviations.]


JULY 25, 11 AM TORONTO TIME -President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his first State of the Nation Address. JOAN BONDOC/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER WATCH LIVE VIDEO FROM RAPPLER.COM BELOW
(SONA WAS ABOUT 1 HOUR AND 30 MINUTES) -- In his first State of the Nation Address (Sona), President Rodrigo Duterte will be remembered for not pointing fingers at his predecessors as he laid down his government’s plan for the next six years. “We cannot move forward if we allow the past to pull us back. Finger pointing is not the way that is why I will not waste precious time dwelling on the sins of the past,” Duterte said during his opening message on Monday as he addressed both Houses of Congress at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City. But the President vowed to punish crooked government officials and those who make the life of Filipinos hard.
READ: Duterte: I am not vindictive, but crooked execs will be punished “Those who betrayed the people’s trust shall not go unpunished. “They will have their day in court,” he said. The chief executive, wearing a barong Tagalog, arrived at the House of Representatives onboard a presidential chopper at 3:25 p.m. No stopping vs drugs True to his campaign promise, Duterte said would be no let-up in the government’s fight against illegal drugs. READ: Duterte: No stopping war vs drugs “There will not be a let-up in this campaign against illegal drugs. We will not stop until the last drug lord, the last financier, or the last pusher is put behind bars or below the ground if they so wish,” he said. Since his assumption in office last June 30, close to 100 thousand drug lords, users and pushers have surrendered to the government. However, more than 300 individuals have also been killed amid the government’s anti-drug campaign. Amid the rise in killings of suspected drug peddlers, Duterte said he respects the separation of Church and State amid concerns from the Catholic Church about his bloody anti-drug campaign. READ MORE...

ALSO: Sara Duterte no show at SONA due to health reasons
[Duterte kids won’t attend SONA]


JULY 24 -Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio (BANDERA FILE PHOTO)
DAVAO CITY – Due to medical reasons, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio will not make it to the first State of the Nation Address of her father, President Duterte. The mayor, who has been designated the First Lady by her father, was supposed to represent her mother and brothers Vice Mayor Paolo and Sebastian at the historic event. In a statement from the Davao City Information Office, the mayor was advised by her doctor to have a complete rest. READ MORE...

ALSO: Brillante Mendoza draws flak, praise for Duterte's SONA
[RELATED: Brillante Mendoza's SONA camera angles break the Internet]


JULY 25 -DIRECTOR MENDOZA
Some called it artsy and brilliant while others found Brillante Mendoza's State of the Nation Address (SONA) directing style annoying. The award-winning Mendoza, who was tasked to direct President Rodrigo Duterte's first SONA, used many unconventional angles during the speech.Unlike previous ones, which was again broadcast live on all major television networks in the country, Duterte's first SONA showed a lot of close-ups, worm's eye view, and some double exposures. Slow transitions, slow camera panning, and dim lighting were also evident throughout Duterte's speech. In some shots, Duterte's hand movements were in focus. A new shot used was that of the president seen from behind the podium. FULL REPORT, RELATED -Brillante Mendoza's SONA camera angles break the Internet...

ALSO: Duterte’s first Sona draws cheers, jeers from netizens


PRESIDENT Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address (Sona) drew praises and criticisms from netizens, who particularly noticed the directing style of Cannes award-winning filmmaker Brillante Mendoza.
They pointed out the varying camera angles during Duterte’s more-than-an-hour speech, which included worm’s eye view shots. Some called it “classy” and “artsy,” while others said some angles were unnecessary. “Very classy ang shots ni Brillante Mendoza. Nasanay lang tayo sa static shots ng mga previous SONA. Change is coming nga e,” wrote one Nathaniel de Castro (@NathanielJVC). “May mga bagay talagang di mo agad ma-gets tulad ng angled shots ni Mr. Brillante Mendoza sa SONA ni Pres. Duterte,” said Ed Salamera. “Nakakahilo ung camera work sa Sona! Goal ba ni Brillante Mendoza makita natin ung buhok sa ilong ni Du30????” Boy Lemonade tweeted. Some netizens were left wondering if the unconventional shots had “greater meaning,” while others said they were “confused.”  READ MORE...

ALSO: Duterte’s 1st Sona ‘generally peaceful’—AFP
[RELATED: No Sona clashes as rallyists show support to DU30 gov’t]


JULY 25 -Filipino activists and supporters for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte raise their clenched fists as they arrive near the gates of the House of Representative where President Duterte is set to deliver his first state of the nation address in suburban Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines on Monday July 25, 2016. Thousands of activists were allowed near the gates to listen to President Duterte’s speech. AP Photo
President Rodrigo Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday was “generally peaceful” and the “supportive” rallyists played a huge part, the military said. “There was not serious threat monitored and the cooperation of ‘supportive’ rallyists was a big factor in the successful outcome of the Sona security coverage,” Armed Forces spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said.
READ: 30,000 protesters in ‘historic,’ ‘peaceful’ Sona rally This year’s Sona was different from previous years as this was the first time that militants were allowed to get closer to Batasang Pambansa. “If every occasion for SONA can be done this way where cooperation and dialogue becomes the norm, then violent confrontations and dispersals will become a thing of the past,” Padilla said. RAM READ: Peaceful rally: It’s about time  FULL REPORT. RELATED, No Sona clashes as rallyists show support to DU30 gov’t...

ALSO: 30,000 protesters in ‘historic,’ ‘peaceful’ Sona rally


JULY 25 -More than 30,000 people join in the 'historic' and 'peaceful' rally during President Rodrigo Duterte's first State of the Nation Address. RAFFY LERMA/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER
This year’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) rally is one of the biggest and most peaceful in recent history, a militant leader said on Monday. At least 30,000 protesters from different parts of the country marched to express support for the “progressive and nationalist” programs of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.
READ: Militants air support for Duterte, make demands No tense dispersals disrupted the gathering of thousands of militant protesters a stone’s throw away from the House of Representatives where Duterte is currently addressing the nation. READ: Bato gatecrashes Sona rally, tells militants: We won’t hurt you Speaking to reporters at the rally, Renato Reyes Jr., the secretary general of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), the biggest alliance of left-leaning groups, lauded Duterte for making good on his promise that he would allow the Left to hold a rally closer to Batasan—something that his predecessors never did. “Ni-respeto niya ‘yung karapatan nating magpahayag. Tinototoo niya lang ‘yung napagusapan sa inauguration sa Malacañang na nag-paalam tayo na sana makalapit kami,” Reyes said. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Duterte sets sights on future without blaming past admin

LIVE BROADCAST FROM RAPPLER.COM: Live: President Duterte's State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2016 Rappler Rappler .....CONTINUE READING REPORT FROM THE INQUIRER IMMEDIATELY BELOW...

 


FROM TOP LEFT: Senate President Pimentel, House Speaker Alvarez, President Duterte, all 3 on the top podium hail from Mindanao, Philippines.

MANILA, AUGUST 1, 2016 (INQUIRER) By: Aries Hegina, Maila Ager, Marc Cayabyab, Nestor Corrales @inquirerdotnet 08:07 PM July 25th, 2016 - In his first State of the Nation Address (Sona), President Rodrigo Duterte will be remembered for not pointing fingers at his predecessors as he laid down his government’s plan for the next six years.

“We cannot move forward if we allow the past to pull us back. Finger pointing is not the way that is why I will not waste precious time dwelling on the sins of the past,” Duterte said during his opening message on Monday as he addressed both Houses of Congress at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City.

But the President vowed to punish crooked government officials and those who make the life of Filipinos hard.

READ: Duterte: I am not vindictive, but crooked execs will be punished

“Those who betrayed the people’s trust shall not go unpunished. “They will have their day in court,” he said.

The chief executive, wearing a barong Tagalog, arrived at the House of Representatives onboard a presidential chopper at 3:25 p.m.

No stopping vs drugs

True to his campaign promise, Duterte said would be no let-up in the government’s fight against illegal drugs.

READ: Duterte: No stopping war vs drugs

“There will not be a let-up in this campaign against illegal drugs. We will not stop until the last drug lord, the last financier, or the last pusher is put behind bars or below the ground if they so wish,” he said.

Since his assumption in office last June 30, close to 100 thousand drug lords, users and pushers have surrendered to the government.

However, more than 300 individuals have also been killed amid the government’s anti-drug campaign.

Amid the rise in killings of suspected drug peddlers, Duterte said he respects the separation of Church and State amid concerns from the Catholic Church about his bloody anti-drug campaign.

READ MORE...

“Let me assure that while I’m a stickler for the principle of separation between the Church and State, I believe quite strongly that there should never be a separation between God and State,” Duterte said.

Implement RH law

Duterte said the Reproductive Health (RH) Law must be implemented to curb the population growth and assist the poor in family planning.

READ: Duterte bats for implementation of RH law

“The implementation of the Reproductive Health Law must be put in full force and effect so that couples especially the poor will have freedom of informed choice on the number and spacing of children,” he said.

This was despite the opposition of the Catholic Church and other pro-life groups.

The President said the RH law, which was stalled by the Supreme Court, must be implemented to help the poor to plan their families to ensure that the marginalized would become productive sectors of society, he said.

Unilateral ceasefire

Duterte made a historic announcement as he declared a unilateral ceasefire with the communist rebels effective immediately.

READ: Duterte announces unilateral ceasefire with communist rebels

“I am now announcing a unilateral ceasefire with the CPP-NPA effective immediately,” he said, adding that the communist rebels would respond accordingly.

“Let me make this appeal to you, if we cannot as yet love one another, then in God’s name, let’s not hate each other too much,” he added.

The President lamented that it was both “ironic” and tragic” that while the government and the rebels expressed willingness and readiness to return to the negotiating table, both forces continue to fight each other.

“We cannot talk peace while we load our guns with bullets,” he said.

The Philippine government and the Communist Party of the Philippines-New people’s Army would start the formal peace talks on August 20.

Solving climate change a ‘top priority’

The President said addressing climate change was one of his administration’s top priority but this should not hinder economic progress.

READ: Climate change priority but must not hinder growth—Duterte

“Addressing climate change shall be a top priority but upon a fair and equitable equation. It should not stymie our industrialization,” he said.

Duterte has earlier stated that he will not honor the historic Paris Agreement, saying that it is “stupid.”

“We have not reached the age of industrialization. We’re now going into it. But you are trying to stymie [our growth] with an agreement that says you can only go up to here. That’s stupid. I will not honor that,” Duterte had said.

The Philippines has pledged to reduce carbon emissions by 70 percent in 2030 when it signed the agreement last April.

Lowe income tax

The President vowed to lower individual and corporate tax rates as well as to “relax” the bank secrecy law during his term.

READ: Duterte vows to ‘lower personal, corporate income tax’

“We will lower personal and corporate income tax and relax the bank secrecy law,” he said.

Economic and finance officers of Duterte earlier said that the government would definitely review the tax system, initially to update the income tax brackets and eventually to lower corporate and individual tax rates.

Emergency powers to ease traffic

During his almost two-hour Sona, Duterte asked Congress for emergency powers to address traffic woes plaguing the metropolis.

READ: Duterte asks for emergency powers to ease Metro traffic nightmare

“The worsening traffic situation should be legitimately addressed if Congress could accord emergency powers to me. Kung gusto niyo nang madalian, isagad na. Nasa inyo ‘yan (If you want it fixed immediately, give it to me. It’s up to you),” he said.

To aid in easing up traffic congestion, he said that there would be no let-up in its campaign against out-of-line (colorum) transport services and that he would revive the Pasig River Ferry system.

Pass federalism, BBL

The President urged Congress to put up a federal form of government with a prime minister and a president.

READ: Duterte wants federal gov’t with prime minister, president

“My advice to you is mainly a federal system parliamentary but be sure to have a president. Hindi na ako iyan (Not me). I’m disqualified. And by that time, I would no longer be here,” he said.

“If you hurry up the federal system of government, you can submit to the Filipino people [in the] fourth, fifth year… You call for a referendum. And after that, call for a presidential election, sibat na ako (I’ll be leaving). But you must have a president,” he added.

Duterte also urged Congress to pass the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and insert a provision of federalism in the proposed legislation.

READ: Duterte urges 17th Congress to pass BBL

“‘Yung BBL ibigay na natin (We will pass the BBL), minus the things that you do not want, ‘yung mga constitutional issues, tanggalin muna natin (we will remove the constitutional issues),” he said.

“Nandiyan na yan eh (It’s there). I ask you to pass it minus the constitutional issues that are contentious. Ibigay na natin (Let us pass it) and when the federal system comes, isama mo na sa (include it in) package. That’s the solution for Mindanao,” said Duterte, the first chief executive from Mindanao.

The President said only federalism would put an end to the Muslim conflict in Mindanao.

“Nothing else will work. Believe me, nothing else will do. Please sleep on it and ponder on it. That’s the only way to proceed,” he said.

Protecting ‘bona fide’ media

Despite his love-hate relationship with the media, Duterte said his administration would not tolerate violation against and repression of media, saying “bona fide” media is his partner for change.

The President said he was not condoning the killing of “bona fide” journalists.

READ: Duterte hails ‘bonafide’ media as ‘partners for change’

“This government does not condone violation and repression of media,” Duterte said in his Sona.

“The bona fide media has always been our partners for change,” he added.

The President appeared to be extending a hand of reconciliation to media when he announced that he had formed a superbody to investigate the extrajudicial killings of journalists. IDL

---------------------------

RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Press Sec Andanar: Ad-libs made Duterte's SONA more personal By Patricia Viray (philstar.com) | Updated July 25, 2016 - 7:33pm 1 76 googleplus0 0


FORMER AQUINO PRESS SECRETARY COLOMA WITH THE NEW PRESS SEC ANDANAR

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar on Monday said the ad-libs of President Rodrigo Duterte in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) were very helpful.

Andanar noted that past presidents usually addressed members of the Senate, House of Representatives and the diplomatic corps during their SONA but Duterte also touched the Filipino masses in his speech.

"Ad-libs made it more personal. The president, he has this magic touch with the masses" Andanar told members of the press in an ambush interview after Duterte's SONA.

Andanar added that the ad-libs were the president's prerogative, which made the speech longer than expected.

The Communications secretary earlier said that the first SONA would only be 38 minutes long but it lasted for about one and a half hour due to the ad-libs.

"Siguro yung 15 pages na yun ay naging 45 pages so abangan na lang ang magiging transcript namin bukas," the Cabinet member said

Andanar revealed that Duterte gave them two speeches during his rehearsal at his home in Davao City.

The first speech contained ad-libs and side comments while the second followed the original script.

"The way that we rehearsed the speech in Davao mirrors the way that the president delivered his State of the Nation Address here in Congress so it's exactly the same manner that he delivered to us," Andanar said, referring to the speech with ad-libs.

Andanar admitted that they were not sure which speech the president would deliver up to the last minute.

"I did expect the adlibs but I did not expect it to be this long," Andanar said.


INQUIRER

Sara Duterte no show at SONA due to health reasons By: Karlos Manlupig @inquirerdotnet Inquirer Mindanao 04:02 PM July 25th, 2016


Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio (BANDERA FILE PHOTO)

DAVAO CITY – Due to medical reasons, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio will not make it to the first State of the Nation Address of her father, President Duterte.

The mayor, who has been designated the First Lady by her father, was supposed to represent her mother and brothers Vice Mayor Paolo and Sebastian at the historic event.

In a statement from the Davao City Information Office, the mayor was advised by her doctor to have a complete rest.

READ MORE..


Sara Duterte takes a selfie with husband Mans Carpio in a Facebook post from July 2014. Photo from Sara Duterte-Carpio's Facebook page. "

“However, upon her arrival in Manila early morning Monday, Mayor Inday Sara went to St. Luke’s Hospital for a medical check-up. She was advised complete rest at least for a couple of days by her doctor. But there is nothing to worry. The mayor is doing well now,” Jefry Tupas, Davao City Information Officer, said.

According to Tupas, the Davao City mayor’s husband, Lawyer Manases Carpio, will attend the SONA to represent the family.

“That she will not able to attend the SONA is something that the mayor deeply regrets as she wants to be with the President during this very important occasion and proud moment for the Filipinos and the Philippines,” Tupas said. SFM

EARLIER FROM PHILSTAR

Duterte kids won’t attend SONA By Edith Regalado (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 22, 2016 - 12:00am 0 88 googleplus0 0


DUTERTE CHILDREN AT THE PRESIDENTIAL OATH TAKING

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President Duterte’s children – Sara, Paolo and Baste – will not attend the first State of the Nation Address (SONA) of their father on Monday.

The siblings have signified their intention not to attend the event, which will be held in Congress and witnessed by the country’s leaders.

They and their mother, Elizabeth Zimmerman, attended the President’s inaugural at Malacañang on June 30.

City information officer Jefry Tupas told The STAR that Sara and Paolo told him that they are not attending.


Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte is joined by his partner, Cielito “Honeylet” Avanceña, and their daughter Veronica “Kitty” Duterte as he heads for Malacañang for his inauguration on Thursday. MALACAÑANG POOL PHOTO

Sara and Paolo, this city’s mayor and vice mayor, respectively have taken a leave of absence from their posts. Councilor Bernie Al-ag is currently the acting mayor.

The youngest brother Sebastian, according to his close friend lawyer Alex Lumbatan, is also not attending.

It has yet to be ascertained whether Duterte’s 12-year-old-daughter Victoria or “Kitty” and her mother Honeylet Avanceña will attend the event.

Kitty is studying here in Davao City. At least 20 councilors of this city will fly to Manila to witness Duterte’s SONA.

SONA: WATCH --Live-in partner ni Duterte na si Honeylet at anak na si Kitty, ‘di raw titira sa Malacañang GMA EDITORSJUNE 13, 2016 EARLIER FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK.

 

-------------------------------

RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

No more guest of honor appearances for Duterte in Manila By: Aries Joseph Hegina @AHeginaINQ INQUIRER.net 02:29 PM July 24th, 2016


President Rodrigo Duterte will not be showing up as a guest of honor in events in Metro Manila anytime soon.

In an open letter to Filipinos read by Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella on Sunday, Duterte has declined invitations extended to him by individuals and organizations in the Metro Manila area so as not to further aggravate the worsening traffic situation in the metropolis.

“While I consider it as a privilege and responsibility to be in touch with the people, I have to decline again and again due to a very simple reason: as President, my travels always include protocols and security measures which create traffic congestion and disturb the flow of everyday lives and activities.”

“As it is, we are still being burdened by traffic issues in the Metro Manila area. It only seems prudent and sensible not to add unnecessary stress in our efforts of creating comfortable lives that include all,” Duterte said in his open letter.

He then apologized to those who invited him as guest of honor in their events.

Duterte said he would refuse invitations indefinitely until his administration had effectively addressed the traffic issues in Metro Manila.

“Until such time as we effectively addressed these matters, please understand that I may need to decline your warm and respectful invitations. My deepest apologies. But please bear in mind that I only have your, the people’s, and the nation’s best intentions at heart,” the President said.

Duterte has expressed his intention to ask Congress for emergency powers to address the traffic problem in Metro Manila.

Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade has also announced his plans to solve the traffic gridlock in the nation’s capital region, which include implementing unified traffic rules and constructing a cable car system. JE/rga


ABS-CBN

Brillante Mendoza draws flak, praise for Duterte's SONA Thea Alberto-Masakayan, ABS-CBN News Posted at Jul 25 2016 06:06 PM


DIRECTOR MENDOZA

Some called it artsy and brilliant while others found Brillante Mendoza's State of the Nation Address (SONA) directing style annoying.

The award-winning Mendoza, who was tasked to direct President Rodrigo Duterte's first SONA, used many unconventional angles during the speech.

Unlike previous ones, which was again broadcast live on all major television networks in the country, Duterte's first SONA showed a lot of close-ups, worm's eye view, and some double exposures.

Slow transitions, slow camera panning, and dim lighting were also evident throughout Duterte's speech.

In some shots, Duterte's hand movements were in focus. A new shot used was that of the president seen from behind the podium.

----------------------------

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Brillante Mendoza's SONA camera angles break the Internet (philstar.com) | Updated July 25, 2016 - 5:40pm 150 6085 googleplus3 0


Director Brillante Mendoza directs the first State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Duterte. Presidential Communications/Released

MANILA, Philippines - When Malacañang announced that Brillante Mendoza has accepted their invitation to direct President Rodrigo Duterte's first State of the Nation Address (SONA), everyone had the same question in mind: How would the SONA look like through the lens of an internationally-acclaimed director?

Days before the SONA, the Ma' Rosa director emphasized in his interviews with the media that his goal as the director is to reflect the "real Duterte." According to the award-winning director, aside from ensuring smooth production, he also aims to assist the president in building connection with the audience.


MORE TWEETS:  CLICK HERE TWEETS AT ABS-CBN

On Monday, Brillante Mendoza became a trending topic on social media after netizens noticed the different camera angles used as Duterte was delivering his speech.

Most of the netizens said the shots were unnecessary and weird for such political event while a few appreciated how Mendoza showed superiority of Duterte through angles taken from below.


INQUIRER

Duterte’s first Sona draws cheers, jeers from netizens INQUIRER.net July 25th, 2016 07:37 PM

PRESIDENT Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address (Sona) drew praises and criticisms from netizens, who particularly noticed the directing style of Cannes award-winning filmmaker Brillante Mendoza.

They pointed out the varying camera angles during Duterte’s more-than-an-hour speech, which included worm’s eye view shots.

Some called it “classy” and “artsy,” while others said some angles were unnecessary.

“Very classy ang shots ni Brillante Mendoza. Nasanay lang tayo sa static shots ng mga previous SONA. Change is coming nga e,” wrote one Nathaniel de Castro (@NathanielJVC).

“May mga bagay talagang di mo agad ma-gets tulad ng angled shots ni Mr. Brillante Mendoza sa SONA ni Pres. Duterte,” said Ed Salamera.

“Nakakahilo ung camera work sa Sona! Goal ba ni Brillante Mendoza makita natin ung buhok sa ilong ni Du30????” Boy Lemonade tweeted.

Some netizens were left wondering if the unconventional shots had “greater meaning,” while others said they were “confused.”

READ MORE...

“Sec. Andanar said the Sona will be an emotional and [a moving] one, how come the people inside Batasan kept laughing? Anyare Brillante Mendoza?” @YvesRomFlores tweeted.

“Sabagay, it does feel like a Brillante Mendoza film–watered down–pero same effect in the end. You exit slightly confused and upset. Pwede,” said Nash Tysmans.

“Dahil Brillante Mendoza ito, may deeper meaning ba yung shots na focused sa kamay? Our future is in his hands? His hands carry his words?” Audry Domasian tweeted. YG


INQUIRER

Duterte’s 1st Sona ‘generally peaceful’—AFP By: Frances Mangosing @FMangosingINQ INQUIRER.net 07:07 PM July 25th, 2016


Filipino activists and supporters for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte raise their clenched fists as they arrive near the gates of the House of Representative where President Duterte is set to deliver his first state of the nation address in suburban Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines on Monday July 25, 2016. Thousands of activists were allowed near the gates to listen to President Duterte’s speech. AP Photo

President Rodrigo Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday was “generally peaceful” and the “supportive” rallyists played a huge part, the military said.

“There was not serious threat monitored and the cooperation of ‘supportive’ rallyists was a big factor in the successful outcome of the Sona security coverage,” Armed Forces spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said.

This year’s Sona was different from previous years as this was the first time that militants were allowed to get closer to Batasang Pambansa.

“If every occasion for SONA can be done this way where cooperation and dialogue becomes the norm, then violent confrontations and dispersals will become a thing of the past,” Padilla said. RAM

--------------------------

RELATED FROM THE TRIBUNE

No Sona clashes as rallyists show support to DU30 gov’t Written by Tribune Wires Tuesday, 26 July 2016 00:00 By Mario J. Mallari and Ted Tuvera

Anti-riot police are deployed in front of the Sandiganbayan ahead of President Rodrigo Duterte’s first state of the nation address.


GRIG MONTEGRANDE/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER Put aside your battle gear and show militant rallyists some love. This was Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa’s message to the anti-riot cops deployed to secure President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday afternoon. COURTESY OF THE INQUIRER

For the first time, rallyists from various militant groups were allowed near Batasan Complex during President Rodrigo Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address (Sona) yesterday.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Rodrigo Duterte, who “visited” the rallyists hours before the actual Sona, said unlike in the previous years, anti-riot policemen were calm and relax during Sona.

“This is the first time in the history of Philippines, when we have Sona that the police are not feeling threatened. Our policemen are very relaxed,” De la Rosa said.

In the past Sonas, anti-riot cops and protesters clashed resulting in injuries and arrest despite massive deployment of government authorities on rally points around Metro Manila.

For the first time also, rallyists were allowed very near the Batasan Complex — only 300 meters from the complex. The usual container vans serving as barrier and blockade against rallyists are not in sight.

“We feel they are with us, they are no longer against us. That they are solidly behind the Duterte administration. They want reform. They want change,” De la Rosa said.

“This is the change that we are now observing, we are now experiencing — the militants who used to confront and engaged our policemen to violence, they are there expressing support to the administration, showing discipline among their ranks, not aggressive,” De la Rosa said.

The last time militants were allowed to get near the Batasan Complex for their Sona rally was during the first speech to the Congress of then President Joseph Ejercito Estrada in 1998.

Bayan is urging President Duterte to get out of his way and eventually join their march and listening instead to the sentiments of some 3,000 protesters.

“We extend a warm invitation to President Duterte to be with the people who will march during the historic Sona rally. He is very much welcome to appear at and join the activities of Bayan, to listen to the plight of the people gathered outside Batasan, before he delivers his historic address,” Reyes said in a text message.

While there was no specific threat against the Sona, both the National Capital Region Police Office and the military’s Joint Task Force-NCR Command raised their respective alert status.

The NCRPO went of full alert while the JTF-NCRCom declared red alert status.

Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde, NCRPO acting director, said that about 6,000 troops were deployed to maintain peace and order around Batasan Complex — almost the same number allotted during the past Sonas.

Meanwhile, youth group Anakbayan called on the new president to address youth concerns by pushing free education at all levels, stopping the K-12 program, ending the practice of contractualization and pursuing peace talks.

“We urge President Duterte to join our fight against tuition and other school fees hikes. We urge him to overhaul the deregulated and commercialized education in favor of a system of free education for all,” said Anakbayan national chairman Vencer Crisostomo.

The youth group called on Duterte to do what no past president has done by standing up against private school owners to “ensure the youth’s right to free education.”

Some 1,232 private elementary and high schools as well as 304 private universities and colleges increased tuition and other fees in the current school year.


INQUIRER

30,000 protesters in ‘historic,’ ‘peaceful’ Sona rally By: Julliane Love De Jesus @JLDejesusINQ
INQUIRER.net 05:33 PM July 25th, 2016


More than 30,000 people join in the 'historic' and 'peaceful' rally during President Rodrigo Duterte's first State of the Nation Address. RAFFY LERMA/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER

This year’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) rally is one of the biggest and most peaceful in recent history, a militant leader said on Monday.

At least 30,000 protesters from different parts of the country marched to express support for the “progressive and nationalist” programs of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.

READ: Militants air support for Duterte, make demands

No tense dispersals disrupted the gathering of thousands of militant protesters a stone’s throw away from the House of Representatives where Duterte is currently addressing the nation.

READ: Bato gatecrashes Sona rally, tells militants: We won’t hurt you

Speaking to reporters at the rally, Renato Reyes Jr., the secretary general of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), the biggest alliance of left-leaning groups, lauded Duterte for making good on his promise that he would allow the Left to hold a rally closer to Batasan—something that his predecessors never did.

“Ni-respeto niya ‘yung karapatan nating magpahayag. Tinototoo niya lang ‘yung napagusapan sa inauguration sa Malacañang na nag-paalam tayo na sana makalapit kami,” Reyes said.

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(He respected our right to free assembly and expression. He delivered on our agreement during his inauguration at the Malacañang when we asked for permission to get near the Batasan.)

“It’s been a historic march,” he added.

Reyes earlier met Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa when the latter visited the militants assembling along Commonwealth Avenue.

READ: ‘Bato’ tells anti-riot cops: Show love to rallyists

“Most definitely, the Sona this year will be peaceful kasi walang pinagmumulang tension. Ang pinagmumulan ng tension ‘yung panggigipit at wala ‘yon. Wala tayong dapat ikabahala,” he said.

(Most definitely, the Sona this year will be peaceful because there is no root of tension. What caused the tension before was the oppression, and that did not happen today. We have nothing to worry about.)

The protesters posed a challenge to the Duterte administration to address poverty, unemployment, landlessness and lack of social justice.

Reyes said Bayan is also calling on the government to uphold due process and protect human rights amid a spate of vigilante killings in Duterte’s anti-drug war.

“Kasama ito sa dapat tugunan ng administration—‘yung pagtataguyod ng karapatang pantao at paghinto at pagtigil sa anumang klase ng extrajudicial killings,” he said.

(The administration should also address the promotion of human rights and the end of whatever kind of extrajudicial killings.) IDL/rga


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