Lawmaker: ‘It was Aquino’s best Sona’

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

DESPITE the nationwide protests and the thumbs-downs directed at President Benigno Simeon Aquino III during his State of the Nation Address (Sona) Monday, Cagayan de Oro City’s 2nd district Representative Rufus Rodriguez praised the President for his achievements.

“I actually think that it was his best Sona out from the five Sonas he has delivered,” Rodriguez said.

Sona is a speech broadcast by the President to inform the nation about the current economic, political and social condition. Accomplishments and plans of his administration are also included.


With the formal atmosphere and silence being observed at the Lower House where Aquino delivered his Sona for five years, civil society groups all over the country marched in protest to what they described as the President’s “empty talk.”

Rodriguez, who was also one of the attendees of the Sona, said the demonstrators’ reasons on why Aquino’s speech lacked “meat” and labeled it the worst because he failed to cover every problem in the nation due to time limit.

“I concretely disagree to what the protesters said. Aquino could not cover everything. With the many problems our country faces today, not all could be included in his speech,” Rodriguez said.

Problems voiced by the dissenters were on education, the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (Carper), the Freedom of Information Bill (FOI), a more in-depth approach on the Bangsamoro Agreement, among others, which the president has failed to mention.

“Yes, that is true that those were not tackled. But prior to his Sona, there were speeches he delivered in some press conferences wherein he included those such as the FOI Bill which was already tackled last week; the Carper where a two-year extension was given […] People must understand that not all will be addressed in an hour or two,” he added.

Rodriguez scored Aquino with 9 out of 10 for the inclusion of how he is transforming the government now where there is reform, better economic growth, poverty alleviation and good employment rates.

“So that means the country is really developing,” Rodriguez said.

However, as a Mindanaoan, he also admitted there might be some things he could have included like the current problems in Mindanao.

“He could have also talked about the solution of the energy crisis in Mindanao. He was quite general when he mentioned [Energy secretary Jericho] Petilla, but he could have tackled it in a more in-depth way. He could have also included the Mindanao railway project,” he said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on July 30, 2014.

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