Aquino to deliver 'longer than usual' SONA in Filipino

Thea Alberto-Masakayan
Yahoo! Southeast Asia Newsroom

President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III will deliver his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) speech in Filipino to deliver his message clearer, Malacanang said.

“So tapos na po ang SONA niya, so ready na po sa Monday, so he’s good to go,” Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda told a press conference.

Aquino will deliver his longer than usual speech at the House of Representatives Monday, July 23 at exactly 4:00 pm, to coincide with the call to order of the Joint Session of Congress.

Lacierda said Aquino's speech went through eight revisions, and urged the public to expect a "truthful, inspiring and defining" SONA.

“Hasang-hasa na po si Pangulong Aquino sa pagbibigay ng talumpati. Ang medyo kaibahan lang po nito ang SONA ay mas mahaba sa pangkaraniwang talumpati. But hindi po naiiba sa kanya ang pagbibigay ng isang talumpati,” Lacierda added.

Critics of the President have already stated they will push through with their protests, rain or shine, as the chief executive delivers his third SONA.

Thousands of rallyists are expected to converge near the Batasang Pambansa, while at least 6,000 cops from the National Capital Region Police Office will be deployed for Civil Disturbance Management, crown control, and traffic operations, according to PNP.

In a briefer issued by Malacanang, it said there have already been 72 SONAs in history, and Aquino's Monday's speech will be the 73rd since 1936.

The SONA "is a yearly tradition wherein the chief executive reports on the status of the country, unveils the government’s agenda for the coming year, and may also propose to Congress certain legislative measures."