(UPDATE) It was not the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) after all.
This, as President Benigno Aquino III on Monday claimed the accomplishments he highlighted in his fourth SONA have been made possible by the Filipino people. Echoing his pronouncement during his inaugural speech more than three years ago that Filipinos are his “boss,” Aquino said in his 2013 SONA: “SONA po ninyo ito.”
“Sa bawat Pilipinong nagtitiwala sa kapangyarihan ng maliliit na anyo ng kabutihan: Kayo nga po ang gumawa ng pagbabago. SONA po ninyo ito,” Aquino said in his fourth State of the Nation address.
At the same time, Aquino said he’s proud to be Filipino now more than ever. “Ako po si Noynoy Aquino; ipinagmamalaki ko sa buong mundo: Pilipino ako. Napakasarap maging Pilipino sa panahong ito,” he said as he closed his SONA.For the most part of his speech which lasted an hour and 42 minutes, Aquino enumerated achievements under his term.
These include stellar economic growth, improved delivery of health and education services as well as heightened hope for peace in Mindanao, among many others.
“Now, we are experiencing change… change that was brought about by the millions of Filipinos who have, in their own ways, big and small, pitched in and transformed the country,” he noted.
Aquino however reminded Filipinos of their responsibilities in making change they want to see possible, noting that government “has been fulfilling its responsibility.”
“Tanungin din po sana natin ang ating sarili: Ano ang inambag ko sa solusyon?” the President said.
“Lalo po tayong malulubog sa problema kung magkikibit-balikat lang po tayo,” he added.
He cited as an example how Filipinos should tell off neighbors who dump garbage into the river or report to authorities those who build along waterways.
He also urged Filipinos “grab opportunities” presented by deep-seated reforms. “Huwag po sana nating kalimutan na ang pagkakataon ay punla lamang,” he said.
Aquino’s SONA came as new members take office in the Congress following the May 2013 national and local elections, which Aquino said reaffirmed the country’s support for his agenda.
“Nito ngang nakaraang Mayo, tinanong ko kayo, Boss, tama ba ang direksyon natin? Ang tugon ninyo: tama, at pabilisin pa natin ang transpormasyon ng lipunan,” Aquino said.
“Humiling ako ng mga kakamping makikisagwan sa iisang direksyon, at ibinigay ninyo ito,” he added.
Before Aquino’s SONA, his staunch allies bagged key positions in both legislative chambers, with Sen. Franklin Drilon taking over the Senate presidency and Quezon City Rep. Sonny Belmonte being reelected as House speaker.