President Benigno Aquino III on Monday delivered his longest State of the Nation Address (SONA) so far, but has been applauded less frequently than last year.
Facing the joint session of the Senate and the House of Representatives, Aquino delivered a 102-minute, slightly longer than last year’s 91-minute SONA.
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Lawmakers and guests at the Session Hall of the Batasang Pambansa however broke into applause 88 times during his speech, versus 120 times in his SONA last year.
His 2013 SONA was nonetheless more warmly received than his speech in 2012, which was interrupted only 48 times, as well as his first SONA, for which he got 29 rounds of applause.
Aquino’s speech this year focused mostly on highlighting achievements during his watch, including stellar economic reforms and improved delivery of public services.
“SONA po ninyo ito,” Aquino said, lauding Filipinos who “roused their fellow citizens from apathy, challenged the cynics in our midst, and made the stubborn see reason.”
True to his SONA tradition, he also hit the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for leaving behind a government in crisis for her successor.
“Mahaba po ang listahan ng mga suliraning minana, at tinutugunan na natin,” Aquino said, adding that he intends to leave behind no problems for the next president.
While it is his longest, Aquino’s 11,642-SONA was a far cry from the one Ferdinand Marcos delivered in 1969, the longest so far at 30,427 words.