The SONA was great, butů
Published by the Visayan Daily Star
Editor-in-Chief & President
Bureau Chief, Dumaguete
MAJA P. DELY
|CARLOS ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA
The report of the President to the nation Monday elicited varying reactions as anticipated by all political observers. The clapping, over a hundred recorded, from the gallery and the session hall of the House of Representatives was also expected. Except for the Vice President and the opposition congressmen and senators, the rest are guests that are his allies. They formed the crowd to cheer and give him support. It was a friendly crowd.
Five kilometers away from the House were thousands of people identified with the militant groups that criticize the President at a drop of the hat. Their leaders inside the House session hall carried along their own protests from the placards and their barongs to emphasize their dislike for whatever the President said. Whether the President was right or wrong did not matter.
Everybody has a stake in the State of the Nation Address, most hope that the President will act on their expectations.
Many were disappointed that the President expressed gratitude to his barber and caretaker but not the millions of overseas workers who pour in billions of dollars each year, the real prop to the national economy. He skipped mentioning the embarrassing Mamasapano massacre, and the perennial breakdown of the MRT but praised the Transportation secretary.
There were expectations that he would lay the fundamental programs for the nation's development after his term. The SONA turned out to be a farewell speech, sometimes emotional, rather than describing the real state of the nation.
The President is clearly making his points for history, identifying the gains of his administration. By referring to the legacy of his parents, President Aquino brought to the fore the belief that his ascension into the Presidency is a destiny. The events that threw him from an obscure senator into the nation's consciousness with the death of his mother at the point when the nation was to choose a new president worked in his favor.
In the end, history will be the better judge.*