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SONA 2017 shows state of Duterte’s mind, not of PH – De Lima

MANILA, Philippines – Speaking from jail, Senator Leila de Lima denounced President Rodrigo Duterte’s second State of the Nation Address (SONA), saying it did not report the true status of the country.

The fiercest critic of the President said the speech was more of a reflection of the Chief Executive’s mental condition.

"Just like his first SONA, and even worse this time, what we heard from President Duterte was not the true state of the nation but the sorry state of his mind that is full of anger, hate, and profanity," De Lima said in a statement on Tuesday, July 25.

"Duterte’s second SONA turned out again to be another venue for unloading his resentments and rants on certain sectors, especially his critics," she added.

In his speech before Congress on Monday, July 24, Duterte lambasted De Lima as an immoral woman. He also condemned the United States and former US president Barack Obama, and even slammed independent media. (WATCH: SONA 2017: Report to nation or report vs critics?)

"Let me return the favor and ask Duterte the same questions. Do you think you even have the moral values and credible standing, after that garbage of a speech you have unloaded before us and the foreign diplomatic corps?" De Lima said.

"Yesterday, we as a people were once again subjected to the verbal abuse and pointless ramblings of a madman. But this is the true state of the nation – a country ruled by a murderer drunk with power, and 100 million helpless, pitiful subjects unable to escape from a nightmare."

Some legislators wondered why Duterte, who won the 2016 elections on a platform of change, left out key promises in his SONA, such as the end of contractualization, emergency powers to solve traffic in Metro Manila, legislation to create a trust fund for the P75-billion coco levy fund, and a Freedom of Information (FOI) law. (READ: HIGHLIGHTS: Issues mentioned in SONA 2017)

Those were the key promises raised during the 2016 campaign period. (READ: Comprehensive or lacking? Lawmakers weigh in on Duterte’s SONA)

Duterte’s allies in the Senate and the House, however, saw nothing wrong with the President’s speech and vowed to continue supporting him in espousing change.

"Umpisa pa lang gustong-gusto ko na sapagkat ‘yung ‘di ko narinig ng ilang taon, ‘yung tungkol sa illegal drugs, ‘yun agad ang pang-una niya eh. Kaya ibig sabihin noon relentless, tuloy-tuloy ‘yung laban sa illegal drugs," Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said.

(I immediately liked it because he first talked about the topic of illegal drugs, something that I haven’t heard in the past years. It means the drug war will be relentless, it will continue.) – Rappler.com

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