10 Most Striking Lines From Duterte's First SONA
"If we cannot love one another, then in God's name, let us not hate each other too much."
(SPOT.ph) The day's biggest headline is all about President Rodrigo Duterte's very first State of the Nation Address, held at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City. Since he is a president of many firsts, people expected a unique assembly, a lot of surprises, and plenty of memorable lines.
Communications Sec. Martin Andanar added to the excitement on Sunday, July 24, when he said that it made him cry, "Ganoon po kaganda, ganoon po ka makabagbag-damdamin iyong speech ng Pangulo natin.” He often went off-script, telling the person managing the prompter to scroll up: "Taas mo, wala na 'yan, ayoko na magsalita." He injected Filipino comments throughout the English speech to emphasize a warning or add humor. We saw Brillante Mendoza's hand in the event through the numerous camera angles used, some of them quite unexpected.
Nobody can deny that it was a State of the Nation Address (SONA) to remember, thanks in part to the president's many one-liners. We rounded up a few of them:
"Allow me a little bit of informality at the outset. You would realize that the three guys in the elevated portion of Congress are from Mindanao."
Shout out! New Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III hails from Cagayan de Oro, the speaker of the 17th Congress is Davao del Norte First District Representative Pantaleon "Bebot" Alvarez, and the president is the former mayor of Davao City.
"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..."
Previous SONAs often blamed the administration that came before it for the ongoing problems in the country. Duterte skipped that part.
"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."
A sentiment even millennials can get behind.
"...let me assure you that while I am a stickler for the principle of separation between church and state, I believe quite strongly that there should never be a separation between God and State."
In the past, Duterte has criticized the Church, saying that it's the "most hypocritical institution."
"In this quest, I will put at stake my honor, my life, and the presidency itself."
The president remains true to his commitment to end drugs and criminality in the country.
"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."
"All of us want peace, not the peace of the dead, but the peace of the living."
The president touched on the war in Mindanao, and how it has become a series of bloody skirmishes as one group takes revenge on the other in an endless loop.
"If we cannot, as yet, love one another, then in God's name, let us not hate each other too much."
As a solution, he announced a unilateral ceasefire with the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People's Army, and National Democratic Front.
"Panahon pa ni Hesukristo ang plate nila, hanggang ngayon wala pa."
He also called on government agencies to speed up its transaction processes, including the time it takes to issue license plates. (Hallelujah!)
"Wala ito sa script: I assure you, this will be a clean government."
The line that deserves a standing ovation.
Screencaps from ABS-CBN News