Duterte delivers second State of the Nation Address

 

 

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 23) — President Rodrigo Duterte will report on the state of the country a year after he assumed office at his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 24.

The SONA, which is mandated by Art. 7, Sec. 23 of the 1987 Constitution, is delivered before a joint session of  the 17th Congress at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City.

It is expected to start at 4 p.m.

 

Aside from talking about the situation in the country, the President will reveal in his SONA the government's plans for the year, as well as proposed legislative priorities to Congress.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a July 23 statement that Duterte's speech on Monday, the 79th one since President Manuel Quezon's SONA in 1935, is expected to be one-and-a-half hours long.

 

"The President's State of the Nation Address will be rendered in broad strokes reviewing past achievements, stating the present situation and announcing future prospects," he said. "The President's Report to the People will be available online shortly after the President has spoken. On the whole it will be frank, challenging, realistic but hopeful."

This year's theme is "a comfortable life for all," supported by the administration’s three key agendas — prosperity for all, law and order, and peace.

Duterte's first SONA on July 25, 2016 lasted one hour and 33 minutes.

The President will hold a press conference right after he delivers his SONA.

Tighter security amid protests

National Capital Region Police Office chief Oscar Albayalde said on July 19 that 6,300 police personnel will be deployed to secure the Batasang Pambansa, all of whom will be unarmed.

Read: 6,300 police to be deployed to SONA

This is significantly more than the 4,000 personnel deployed in 2016.

Albayalde also told CNN Philippines' Newsroom Weekend on July 23 that they will also be guarding the U.S. Embassy in Manila.

"Basically, after the protest rally at the Batasan, they go to the U.S. Embassy to conduct again the protest rally," he said.

 

However, Albayalde said they have not monitored any security threats for the SONA.

Read: NCRPO: No security threat for SONA

Duterte's speech comes two days after Congress voted to extend martial law in Mindanao until the end of the 2017 to help combat terrorism.

Read: Congress grants Duterte's request to extend martial law in Mindanao until end of year

Duterte declared martial law and suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao on May 23 after members of the Maute group charged into Marawi City as government forces were attempting to arrest former Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, who was appointed "emir" of Southeast Asia by terrorist group ISIS.

Read: Duterte declares martial law in Mindanao

Around 15,000 protesters from leftist groups like Bayan Muna, Migrante and the National Union of Students of the Philippines are expected to do a "People's SONA" near the Batasang Pambansa.

Albayalde said the police will allow protesters to come up to the South Gate of Batasan Complex instead of keeping them at the Sandiganbayan about a kilometer away.

He added that they will be watching the rank-and-file members of the militant groups in light of the breakdown in peace talks between the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Read: Duterte: No more talks with communist rebels

Although militants are hoping the police will observe maximum tolerance, Albayalde said they might be forced to arrest militants who will go overboard.

Heavy traffic expected

Some 2,000 traffic enforcers will be deployed to ensure the flow of traffic along roads and major thoroughfares leading to the Batasang Pambansa.

The Metro Manila Development Authority on Friday advised those in the vicinity of the SONA to take the following alternate routes:

  • From Commonwealth Avenue (west bound), take right at Fairlane, right at Dahlia Avenue, then left at Chestnut then straight to Sauyo Road to Mindanao Avenue to destination (vice versa).
  • From SM Fairview or Robinsons Novaliches, take Quirino Highway, straight to Mindanao Avenue to destination.
  • From Fairview or Mindanao Avenue, take right at Jordan Plains, straight to Quirino Highway to Mindanao Avenue to destination.

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Albayalde said the police have declared a "no-fly zone" within a six-kilometer radius of the Batasang Pambansa.

On July 17, Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista declared the suspension of classes at all levels in all public and private schools in Quezon City for the SONA.

Read: #WalangPasok: Classes to be suspended in Quezon City on July 24

Catch CNN Philippines' special live and in-depth coverage of the SONA starting 5 a.m. on July 24.

Get instant updates on the SONA through CNN Philippines' Facebook and Twitter accounts.

This story was updated on July 24 to add Duterte's media conference after his speech.