Ilocanos weigh in on Duterte’s first SONA

Cherry Joy. D. Garma

LAOAG CITY –  Most of the Ilocanos from the province of Ilocos Norte have given high marks for the first State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday.

Ariel Paolo Tejada, a local government worker in Piddig town, said that he is optimistic with the President’s announcement on the unilateral ceasefire with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

He said the declaration on the immediate implementation of the ceasefire is a big step towards ending rebel insurgency in the Philippines.

Tejada, however, said that Duterte should also focus on agricultural sector aside from criminality and corruption given that agriculture is the backbone of the econonomy.

“Food availability and sustainability must be achieved in the country,” said Tejada.

Lawyer Brian Jay Corpuz of Laoag City, on his official Facebook account, said that Duterte’s speech is the most unconventional of all the SONA seen on national television which he described further as ‘blockbuster sa masa’.

“I love this man from Mindanao. Despite some flaws on his eloquence, one thing will linger – sincerity and conviction to serve the Filipinos, especially the underprivileged,” Corpuz said.

Despite addressing all pressing issues in his SONA, a public teacher of Laoag City, Adelyn Domingo said that she failed to hear the President tackle education issues like the plans of his administration on the K to 12 program.

Meanwhile, Bernard Ver, a media practitioner said that some of Duterte’s agenda in his SONA have already been addressed like providing Wi-Fi access for free in selected public areas but full implementation is highly needed.

Ver added, “His plans are good but implementation is really the issue. I commend his guts to fight all drug personalities but problems on drugs will never stop as long as there are big personalities backing them up.”


Unlike the past administration, the SONA of Duterte is simpler and without any fanfare. It was evident when attendees adhered to the new dress code from extravagant clothing to business attire or knee-length Filipiniana, as suggested by the President.

The SONA marked the opening of each regular session of Congress.

After the message of the President, the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate closed the Joint Session of Congress for their respective Chambers. (JNPD/CJDG,PIA1-Ilocos Norte)



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