Aquino's last SONA
In his last State of the Nation Address, President Benigno Aquino highlights his administration's accomplishments and profusely thanks everyone he thinks helped him.
But some key issues barely get a mention.
While his speech is ho-hum, some members of the opposition made sure there are fireworks in the end.
Camille Elemia reports.
Aquino begins his speech the same way he did in his past SONAs — by blaming former President Gloria Arroyo’s administration.
He recounts the deeply-rooted corruption and widespread poverty in the society he inherited from Arroyo, then, goes on for two hours detailing his administration’s accomplishments and expressing his gratitude to everyone he feels helped him, from government officials to his house help.
This is the president’s last speech before Congress, and some critics say his weakest speech to date.
As expected, Aquino parades his administration’s accomplishments. But the president fails to discuss key policies and controversial issues like the Freedom of Information Bill, Land reform, and the Mamasapano incident.
Although, he doesn’t make any announcement regarding his anointed one, Aquino highlights Interior Secretary Mar Roxas’ capabilities, with an indirect jab at Vice President Jejomar Binay.
BENIGNO AQUINO, PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT: "Will everything we’ve accomplished be useless in the upcoming elections? The next elections will be a referendum for the Straight Path. You will decide whether the change we aspire for will be permanent or short-term."
But Makati Representative Abigail Binay says the Binays do not feel alluded to by the President.
In the end, the fireworks come not from Aquino but from members of the Makabayan bloc putting up placards criticizing the administration and Senate President Frank Drilon countering with his own boos.
With only a year left before he leaves office, Aquino reminds the public to vote for someone who can continue the straight path his administration started. Who will that be? Will he go with the winnable Grace Poe or the person from whom he snatched the party’s backing 5 years ago - Mar Roxas?
Camille Elemia, Rappler, Manila.