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Duterte’s fourth SONA speech will be ‘short’

President Rodrigo Duterte will have a “short” speech in his fourth State of the Nation Address, the Palace said Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the Chief Executive’s speech on July 22 might only last for two hours.

“He said, ‘Oh, it will be short,’” Panelo said, referring to President Duterte.

“Usually, if short, that’s two hours. You count from the two hours, one, two, three, it will turn to three,” he added.

Panelo said the President’s speech would be short this year because of the pre-Sona forum held by various media organizations.

“Since the pre-Sonas are already doing that, so I don’t think the President will have to repeat,” Panelo said.

During the SONA, Duterte had said that he will “lecture” his critics on the validity of his verbal deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping, which allowed Chinese fishermen within the country’s exclusive economic zone.

Panelo also said that Duterte will discuss the “achievement of his administration on a particular year.”

Duterte’s first SONA lasted for one hour and 32 minutes, while his second address lasted for two hours, as he deviated from his prepared speech.

His third SONA last year lasted for 48 minutes.

The government will spend P4.7 million for the SONA this year, according to House of Representatives Acting Sec. Gen. Dante Roberto Maling.

This budget is P200,000 less compared to last year’s P4.9 million, the official added.

Meanwhile, the National Capital Region Police Office urged militant groups and pro-government protesters to avoid wearingjackets and bringing bags during demonstrations on July 22, when the president delivers his SONA.

“We are asking them not to carry bags and wear jackets. But this is just a discouragement, we cannot prohibit them from doing it,” NCRPO

Director Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar told reporters during Monday’s press briefing at Camp Crame.

Eleazar said his appeal was part of security measures aimed at peaceful and orderly conduct of protest actions.

Eleazar made the statement amid security concerns after authorities recently confirmed that one of the two suicide bombers in a military camp that left six people dead was a Filipino.

“We are expecting at least 15,000 protesters based on the SONA last year,” Eleazar said.

He added that he would bring up the issue of urging protesters not to carry bags and wear jackets when he and leaders and organizers of protest actions meet again on Wednesday.

“There will be stakeholders meeting and dialogue to be followed on the ocular inspection site headed towards the House of Representatives as well as the area were the rallyists are set to have their program during SONA,” Eleazar said.

The NCRPO chief said rallies will be allowed up to St. Peter Parish along Commonwealth Avenue “for as long as these are held peacefully”.

“As usual, our police will exercise maximum tolerance but at the same time we asked the militant groups to do their share and police their

ranks to ensure a peaceful and orderly SONA day,” he said.

At least 9,000 cops and force multipliers will be deployed near the vicinity of the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City to provide security during the SONA.

Aside from the vicinity of the House of Representatives, Eleazar said the NCRPO will secure places of convergence like malls and churches as well as vital installations like terminals, airports, and seaports.

He also assured the public that security will be provided in Mendiola, the United States Embassy and Edsa Shrine, where rallies are expected to be held during the SONA.

He said the NCRPO recorded no violent dispersal of protesters since Duterte assumed the presidency in 2016. Eleazar said they have yet to detect any threat to security in relation to the upcoming SONA.

“We assure the public that no threats to security monitored or reported so far. But the PNP remains vigilant to prevent the occurrence of crimes and respond to any call for assistance,” Eleazar added. With PNA

Topics: Rodrigo Duterte , State of the Nation Address , Salvador Panelo , Xi Jinping , exclusive economic zone
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