Historic SONA of President today Print
Monday, 25 July 2016 13:56

Table Talk

BY Mike S Apostol

The 16th President of the Republic and the first President from Mindanao will deliver his State-of-The-Nation Address (SONA) today. This event will be historic for the Filipinos and very important for Mindanao. The President’s promise of change has come after several decades of hiatus by Presidents of the Republic, who dismally failed to change the Philippines from the grip of crime, corruption and illegal drug proliferation. Had the past presidents started cleaning the country decades ago, our country could not have landed in the list of impoverished and corrupt governments of the world, as per United Nations (UN) report.

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This unfortunate title from the UN, perceived the Philippines as weak. Richer and mightier nations of the world treated our overseas foreign workers (OFW) with social abuses and maltreated some of our OFW like in some Arab countries and Chinese families in Singapore and Hongkong. Adding insult to injury, economic and military giant Republic of China even grabbed our territories in our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEC) in the West Philippine Sea, that has been a source of food and survival of many Filipino fishermen since time immemorial. A blatant disregard and disrespect to our sacred sovereignty.

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The UN International Court of Justice in Hague, Netherlands, a permanent tribunal to settle disputes in the world, ruled in favor of our territorial claim against China but being perceived as a weak and poor country, China opposed the ruling of the UN and continued her occupation on our territories in the West Philippine Sea and maintained their bullying against our helpless fishermen in our own seas and territory.

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The whole country should find time to listen and understand the contents of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s SONA  today so the country will be able to know his plans and solutions for the Philippine Joint Congress to legislate for the Philippines and her people. Many Filipinos are expecting to hear solutions not only against illegal drugs but solutions against rampant corruption in government and policies of foreign affairs, to regain world respect that the country lost, when past presidents gave more importance to preserve their political ambitions and publicly showed fear on the influence of religion and lawlessness in the country. From bad to worse, the Philippines adopted a Constitution with a leftist idea and principle of people empowerment and participation and land reform, more than what democracy promised and provided to her citizens.

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President Duterte has started right in fighting drug syndicates and cleaning Metro Manila of stubborn and obstructive street vendors that caused snarling traffic in metropolis, the “show window” of the country. Obstructionist government officials should come next because like ambulant vendors, they block the passage to good government and change. They should be punished for blaming the administration with menaces that they started during their incumbency in office. They are the real enemies of change. In the early sixties  South Vietnam’s late President Nguyen Kao Ky shot at point blank and publicly a Chinese rice trader for “black marketing” rice while South Vietnamese people were starving during the war with North Vietnam in Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh city. The government needs “iron fist” policies against recidivist clothed with authority, lest we allow the country to be ruled by goons.

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Scoop: Spain ruled the Philippines for three centuries with a “Juez de Cuchillo” government. Almost all Indigenous Peoples (IP), pagans and natives in the country embraced Catholic religion but remained mostly illiterate for 300 years. Illiterate yes, but at least obedient, peaceful and law abiding. Agree or disagree.