DAVAO CITY, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – President-elect Mayor Rodrigo Duterte promises to be a head of state like no other, defying age-old traditions in Philippine politics.
Not only is he the first Philippine president to be proclaimed in absentia, skipping Monday’s ceremonial Congressional coronation of the winning presidential and vice presidential candidates; he also refuses to live in Malacañang, the presidential palace. Instead, he has indicated that he wants to move the seat of national government from Manila to his hometown of Davao City.
Now, Duterte is also reportedly planning to totally scrap SONA, the annual State of the Nation Address of the president of the Philippines (akin to the U.S. State of the Union Address).
In an exclusive interview with The Adobo Chronicles, Duterte says his actions will speak for themselves. “I do not need to report on the state of the nation; the Filipino people will see and feel the progress we will have made in their daily lives.”
Duterte added: “The people are tired of rhetorical speeches made by past presidents during the SONA. Those speeches are nothing but sugar-coated laundry lists of pseudo accomplishments, adorned with enhanced charts and doctored figures, just to make the president look good to the nation and to the world.”
The mayor also criticized SONA as a unnecessary spectacle that focuses on the lives of the rich and famous, obviously referring to the red carpet ceremony that precedes each SONA.
So far, the ordinary Filipinos have agreed with Duterte on scrapping the SONA and the red carpet. Except for the fashion designers who will lose one major venue to showcase their creations.