Fury against drug lords, irresponsible miners, terrorists, communists and his detractors singling out those who accused him of human rights violations marked the second state of the nation address of President Rodrigo Duterte yesterday. These issues were expected prior the SONA and were already reiterated by the President in his prior statements. In between several adlibs, the President still managed to finish his SONA after two long hours that started about 4:27 and ended 6:27 with numerous clapping of hands from the audience.
Much of his time was spent talking about his war on illegal drugs and the usual warning that despite local and foreign pressures, the fight will not stop and will be unrelenting warning that the two alternatives for drug traffickers are jail and hell. Not only to drug traffickers, the President also gave a stern warning to irresponsible miners that he will tax them to death if they will institute measures to prevent the destruction of environment. His rage against the CPP-NPA-NDF or the communists was rather emphatic to the extent of calling Jose Maria Sison of the NDF as a sick man who is not capable anymore of leading the communist organization. This after Sison described the President as a bully. “I used to be friends with the NDFP but times have changed talagang bully ako especially on the enemies of the state,” the President countered.
Duterte’s SONA pleased at the same time disappointed the public. For some, they were disgusted on the President’s failure to elaborate his economic plans and achievements in his first year in office while killing most of his talking time on illegal drugs. Some were disappointed too for not elaborating his proposed federalism form of government, the issue he capitalized in running for President. He also failed to discuss more on the Bangsamoro Basic Law though he asked Congress to tackle it so with federalism, “sooner or later.” The President also succeed to cite strong points such as the government’s decision to require Mighty Corporation to settle its huge debts in taxes to the government in the amount of P25 billion. Though it was not a perfect SONA, the President’s report was significant in general.