It’s a new day and everyone is looking forward that ‘pagbabago’ (change) President Duterte had promised. Aside from the Oath Taking, the SONA seemed to be different from the past Presidents’, and Filipinos eagerly waited to hear what the new President has to say.
President Rodrigo Duterte’s speech is the longest first SONA in Philippine history, lasting 1 hour and 32 minutes and touching base to the most pressing issues in the Philippines, reiteration of his campaign promises, instructions to government offices and officials, and announcement of a unilateral ceasefire with the Communist Party of the Philippines.
Here are our 15 favorite quotes from President Duterte’s SONA:
15. “Wi-Fi access shall be provided at no charge in selected public places including parks, plazas, public libraries, schools, government hospitals, train stations, airports and seaports. O ‘di ba? Happy lahat.”
14. “We have to adjust to the needs of our people.”
13. “While the government is always ready to help you, you must first help yourself.”
12. This government does not condone violence and repression of media. The bona fide media…bona fide media…sometimes they pronounce it “bonafid.” But whatever that thing is, the bona fide media has always been our partner for change.
11. I’d like to thank God that I had this opportunity really—I never—wala namang ano, I never thought umabot ako dito.
10. 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 or blaming those who are perceived to be responsible for the mess that we are in and suffering from.
9. Lest I be misunderstood, let me say clearly, that those who betrayed the people’s trust shall not go unpunished and they will have their day in court. And if the evidence warrants, they will have their day of reckoning too.
8. But we must have the courage to fight for what we believe in, undeterred by the fear of failing or losing. Indeed, courage knows no limits, cowardice does.
7. There can never be real, tangible and felt development without making our people feel secure and it is our duty to uplift the people’s welfare.
6. Human rights must work to uplift human dignity. But human rights cannot be used as a shield or an excuse to destroy the country—your country and my country.
5. Enduring peace can only be attained only if we meet these fundamental needs of every man, woman and child.
4. All of us want peace, not the peace of the dead, but the peace of the living. We express our willingness and readiness to go to the negotiating table, and yet we load our guns, fix our sights, pull the trigger. It is both ironic and tragic—and it is endless. While we extol the bravery and heroism of our soldiers, kayo the rebels, do the same for the members and fighters. What I see instead are the widows and the orphans. And I feel their pain and grief. And no amount of cash assistance or the number of medals can compensate the loss of a human life. Sorrow cuts across every stratum of society. It cuts deeply and the pain lasts forever.
3. Let me make this appeal to you: “If we cannot, as yet, love one another, then in God’s name, let us not hate each other too much,” so it was said. I say the same to you today.
2. Simple lang ‘yan eh. Para walang away sa gobyerno, yung mga bagay na illegal at masama at hindi tama, huwag mong gawin, at hindi kami mag-aaway dito.
1. Let us be clear with each other. I am for the comfort and the welfare of the Filipino.