Opposition lawmakers had mixed reactions to the President Duterte’s State of the Nation Address.
Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat welcomes the president’s stance against mining, the restraining order against the reproductive health bill and the proposed national land use act.
However he is critical of the war on drugs, the stance on human rights violations, the anti-US policy, the unclear position on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law and the non-mention of the Cordillera Autonomous Region. “ako kasi medyo ambivalent okay ako sa ibang punto di rin ako sumasang ayon sa iba.”
Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman for his part could not pass judgment on the speech yet. “its so hard to describe because he meandered from his main speech… but when he said about his assessment of the state of the nation he only said we had big trouble because we live in troubled times.”
Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin in a statement said, “It’s classic Duterte showtime! Rambling, shouting, warning, and bullying his ‘enemies.’ He knows what issues click, what emojis to use. To be populist than being right. Again no mention of ENDO, coconut farmers trust fund, other social legislation. Frustrating!”
Dinagat Islands Rep. Kaka Bag-ao stressed that the popularity and political capital of the Duterte Administration gives it the capacity to implement essential reforms. However, this Administration has focused on a single issue—the war against drugs, which has turned into a war against the poor. For Bag-Ao, , “We need policies that are effective not because they are based on fear, but on facts. We need comprehensive solutions that are anchored on our fundamental values, not simplistic, single-issue responses that are based on a hunger for violence. “
Bag-ao hopes that the administration should spend its political capital “ on reforms that are not only innovative, but based on the rights and dignity of the people. There are more things that we can do together, with government and the people hand in hand, to make the change we want and need to finally happen.”
Anakpawis Rep. ARiel Casilao says President Duterte missed the opportunity to revert back to the path towards fundamental reforms for the benefit of the marginalized sectors.
“He avoided the issue of genuine agrarian reform, especially free distribution of land to farmers, essentially patronizing his audience belonging to the haciendero and comprador classes. “
“His pronouncement on utilizing the natural resources for the local demands is skewed as he embraces the messianic belief the foreign investments via foreign monopoly will build the national industry in the country.”
“His promise of ending contractualization of labor has been totally omitted. As well as, fulfilling the legitimate call of the urban poor for a service-oriented mass housing program.”
Casilao says Duterte’s continued coddling of the military and police only encourages more abuses, and neglective of the miserable state of farmers and indigenous people, especially in Mindanao. He never assured the people of Mindanao of safety, of being subjected under a martial law rule and condemned them to the abuses of state forces.
Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano said, “This year’s State of the Nation Address was a long and winding one. Despite the duration, the President was still not able to give a significant report on the promises that he made in the last year’s SONA. He was in fact making more promises. “