PNoy to expound on economy, anti-corruption drive in 3rd SONA
President Benigno Aquino's third State of the Nation Address (SONA) will take on his administration’s economic programs and anti-corruption, Malacañang said Friday.
"The road map of the President will necessarily involve both the anti-corruption program because that’s part of our advocacy, “kung walang corrupt walang mahirap,” and also our economic roadmap. Nandoon po ‘yan," presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said during a press briefing at the Palace.
Lacierda made the statement after House Majority Leader Neptali “Boyet” Gonzales II said the President should focus on discussing a clear roadmap on how to improve the economy.
Other than saying, "there will be a slew of topics, themes to be discussed by the President" in his SONA, the Palace official declined to spell out further details of Aquino’s speech.
"Tingnan na lang natin, ‘di natin alam ano ang magiging final product pa ng SONA,” he said, refusing to state whether the speech to be delivered in Filipino will mention ousted Chief Justice Renato Corona or the dispute with China over the West Philippine Sea.
“That's why we are inviting you to watch the SONA… Better for you to wait for the President to deliver it," he added.
"It's still a work in progress," Lacierda noted.
According to the Palace official, there would be no "bangkang papel boys" in the SONA apart from other "visuals" during the speech.
The “bangkal papel" boys were victims of the Payatas landfill landslide in 2001. They wrote their dreams and wishes on pieces of paper that they then folded into paper boats and let loose on Pasig River – a symbolic gesture of bringing their plight and aspirations to the attention of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Lacierda said Aquino will definitely discuss his achievements. "The President is going to roll out what happened during the past year and from there you could already see our programs of government. Our two pillars, the anti-corruption program and as well our social alleviation program," he added.
The President’s promise to catch “big fish” involved in corruption has evolved in a progressive way, according to the Palace official, saying the plunder charges against Mrs. Arroyo for alleged misuse of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) funds during her term was one of these.
"Certainly Mrs. Arroyo's considered a big fish but corruption does not end there," Lacierda noted.
"The President said much more would have to be done to combat corruption, and corruption exists in all levels of bureaucracy and we need to continuously address corruption in all levels," he added.
In the same Palace briefing, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Aquino fulfilled most of his promises last year, specifically the legislative measures he wanted processed and passed.
"It seems from our end that most of what the President mentioned last year has come into fruition," she said.
Ten to 11 bills have been passed in the House of Representatives and at least one has been signed into law.
"The ones that have not been passed yet are now in advanced stages of legislation," she Valte added. — VS, GMA News
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