Great and not so great expectations in SONA

Jul. 22, 2012

Davao Today

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — On Monday, July 23, President Noynoy Aquino will deliver his third State of the Nation Address (Sona).

Before he stands on the podium and delivers the Sona, Davao Today gathered the thoughts of the President’s “bosses” — the Filipinos.  What do they expect or want to hear during his Sona?


“I’ve talked to many friends about what to expect of PNoy’s Sona.  All of us agree that it’s going to be a recitation of his administration’s feats, and more feats to follow.  He is going to cite data and statistics.  The bottom line, however, remains, thus: Have the common tao benefited from all the so-called achievements?  There are always two sides to a Sona, Malacanang’s and the people’s.”

 Bonifacio Ilagan; Veteran activist, playwright, scriptwriter and director

“The Aquino government’s democracy is a façade, a shadow of his predecessor Macapagal-Arroyo’s anti-people policies.  His “matuwid na daan” banner is a laughable attempt to cover his incompetency as head of this country.  The arrests under fabricated charges occurring under his administration gave rise to the number of political detainees.”
   Yr Musni; Cagayan de Oro-based law student

“I just want PNoy to stop using the Sona to cast endless tirades against GMA (Gloria Arroyo) and (Renato) Corona.  I want him to move on.  It would seem that persecuting GMA is his only agenda and the only priority for his whole term.  I did not vote for a vindictive president.”
  Atty. Peter Paul Tombo; Davao-based lawyer

“There’s no clear improvement and clear solutions to problems such as employment.  What I only see is he keeps on singling-out his predecessor for two years since he was put into office.  What I also expect for his administration is to address poverty.”
 Marc Leo Esponilla; college student

“His administration is 50% successful–for his Daan na Matuwid program is still vague—and 50% failure for appointing a politician at the Bureau of Customs, unlike the Bureau of Internal Revenue where she can do whatever she wants to do.  In terms of his anti-corruption program, is the impeachment of a Chief Justice all he can do?  We’re wasting time.”
Mr. Mussolini Sinsuat Lidasan: Executive Director, Al Qalam Institute for Islamic Identities and Dialogue, and a supporter of PNoy during the 2010 elections 

“Based on his previous Sona, I want to hear results.  Like, how many crooked officials he has corrected, how many half-baked programs he has fixed.”
Ptr. Melvin Serrano; United Methodist Church

“I will be working on Monday.  I do not expect to hear anything new on his report if there is anything for him to report about.”
Rolando Pinsoy: Communications Officer, Philippine Eagle Foundation

“I expect to hear good news, especially about his accomplishments.”
Engr. Constancio Paye, CESO IV; Regional Director, Mines and Geosciences Bureau-XII

“Because of the EO (on mining policies) the President has signed, I can’t expect for more.  At least, we know that he is supportive of the mining industry.”
Engr. Edilberto Arreza; Regional Director, DENR-Mines and Geo-sciences Bureau-XI

“Maybe a firm commitment on its stand with regards to EO on mining, a clarification of it and how it plays to preserving more of our lands.  The government views mining as pro-extraction.  If we really wanted to develop, why aren’t we using the formula used by industrialist nations in the 18th or 19th century?  Mining must be developed into a downstream industry, to make it work, to make people get benefits from it.  Without this formula, only foreign corporations will benefit.
 Dennis Joseph Salvador; Executive Director, Philippine Eagle Foundation 

“I want to hear what the President’s steps are in addressing the rising cases of rape and murder against OFWs especially domestic workers.”
  Wisa Lorena Templa, RN; Dubai-based nurse

“I would like to hear from President NoyNoy the realities of the nation — the present state of poverty, deprivation and state’s neglect to people’s social services and demands.  As an OFW, we would like to hear the state’s concrete solutions to massive migration and its support to our Filipino workers abroad.”
Erwin Faller, PhD; Malaysia-based lecturer

“As usual, reports that will make his government good, though, I don’t expect much from his Sona.   Like the previous ones, it will just be full of pretensions.”
   Jeanette Laurel-Ampog; Executive Director, Talikala, Inc.

“I’m open to what he has to say.  Ako naman, magtatrabaho na lang ako kung anuman ang mga advocacies na napupusoan ko kagaya ng FOI (freedom of information bill).  Kung babanggitin niya ang FOI, okay.  Kung hindi, tuloy pa rin ang advocacy sa FOI.  I’m more concerned on the broader picture where he sees us, six months or 12 months from now.”
 Rep.  Erin Tañada; Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives

“I would like to hear an endorsement of the Freedom of Information Act and the Alternative Mining Bill.  I want to see a big push for the passage of the Reproductive Health Bill and the National Land-use legislation which is very important for Mindanao; these are the main things that I want to see in his agenda.  I expect to see a continuation of the very strong anti-corruption campaign.  I want to see if he has a detailed plan for development that goes beyond the public-private partnerships.”
Rep. Walden Bello; Akbayan Party-list

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