national news, nation, Philippine update, Malacañang, Rodrigo Duterte, Balangiga Bells, Samar, Salvador Panelo, Jim Mattis
It all started four weeks ago, at the State of the Nation Address. I’m not referring to the SONA itself, the message or performance of President Rodrigo Duterte, and that is unusual. This time, he was upstaged by his daughter, Inday Sara, who dipped tried her hand in national politics and showed she could do effectively. In what seems very clear to me, she made a play, got key partners to play with her, and managed to remove then Pantaleon Alvarez from the Speakership position.
When Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos climbed up to the lower tier of the Batasan rostrum, posing for a “photo op” while then-Speaker-in-waiting Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was conferring with House of Representatives leaders and members, many House members started calling for someone to “escort” the governor down from the area.
Broadcast giant GMA Network Inc. claimed a lead in urban ratings for July 2018 as it received a boost from its coverage of special events, including President Duterte’s third State of the Nation Address.
Shortly after it happened, Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza offered the most positive spin a politician could give to that spectacle of a coup against Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez that upstaged President Duterte’s State of the Nation Address. The congressmen, said Atienza, ousted Alvarez because he wanted to cancel the 2019 midterm elections.
For something as consequential as martial law, there was not a single mention of it in President Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (Sona). And for a vast island group, home to six unique administrative regions, Mindanao was only mentioned eight times. Finally, in his sentence closing that mention of Mindanao, Mr. Duterte spoke of only two directions his home region could take: war or peace.
I nearly fell off my seat when President Duterte in his third State of the Nation Address (Sona) said: “You are for human rights (referring to human rights advocates), I am for human lives.”
Former President Benigno Aquino III is partly to blame for the culture of impunity in the country because he failed to do enough to address incidents of media killings during his term.
It was the stuff that events or movie directors dread or dream of, depending on what kind of a director you are. Joyce Bernal certainly did not expect the spectacle that happened in last week’s State of the Nation Address.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde assured the public that the police consider the issue on food security as important as the administration’s war on illegal drugs.