Dispatch from Crame No. 122: Sen. Leila M. de Lima on President Duterte’s 2nd State of the Nation Address (SONA)

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Just like his first SONA, and even worse this time, what we heard from President Duterte was not the true state of the nation but the sorry state of his mind that is full of anger, hate and profanity.

Instead of being given a report on the government’s accomplishments over the past year and concrete plans for the future, the Filipino people were treated with the same old rubbish rhetoric that lacks substance and sound policy direction. Duterte’s second SONA turned out again to be another venue for unloading his resentments and rants on certain sectors, especially his critics. His use of fake facts to question the ownership of Rappler smacks of repressing the free press, and sends a chilling effect to all those who dare report the truth.

I could only cringe at how Duterte undermines human rights and the rule of law. He speaks as if he owns the whole country, and that the armed forces and the police are his own private armies.

Ito po ang SONA ni Duterte, na hindi na napanood o napakinggan ng mahigit sampung libong Pilipinong pinatay dahil diumano’y nanlaban at nadamay bilang collateral damage ng kanyang War on Drugs. Ni hindi man lang sila nabanggit ng Pangulo, at ang kanilang mga pamilya. Kungsabagay, aasahan ba nating magmalasakit ang isang pinunong sanay at manhid na sa patayan at karahasan? Gaya din ng kanyang sinabi: ang importante lang ay magawa niya at masunod ang gusto niya.

He masks his miserable and spineless foreign policy towards China by digging up from our past the United States’ refusal to return the Balangiga bells, while failing to address the elephant in the room, China’s continued invasion and occupation of our territories in the West Philippine Sea.

Kung karamihan sa mga nasa Kamara, nagpalakpakan para sumipsip sa Pangulo, sigurado ako, marami sa ating mga kababayan ang napailing at napayuko sa kahihiyan dahil sa mga pinagsasabi ni Duterte.

Duterte must be so pissed off that, despite their gargantuan efforts aimed at discrediting or demolishing my character and dignity, through slut shaming and fabricated charges, various international entities, reputable ones, continue to support my causes, even meriting successive visits to my detention quarters from some of them.

I don’t care if Duterte, in his twisted and greatly prejudiced mind, thinks I have no credibility. What matters are the sentiments and opinions of decent and enlightened men and women. Truth is on my side. I am innocent.

Let me return the favor and ask Duterte the same questions. Do you think you even have the moral values and credible standing, after that garbage of a speech you have unloaded before us and the foreign diplomatic corps?

Wala ka nang tinirang kahihiyan para sa ating bayan sa harap ng buong mundo. Tila yata ang iyong sadya ay walanghiyain nang walang katapusan ang Pilipinas sa ibang bansa. Wala ka nang ginawa kundi bastusin ang Pilipinas at ang mga Pilipino. Ikaw na ang pinakamalaking traydor sa ating bayan.

Yesterday, we as a people were once again subjected to the verbal abuse and pointless ramblings of a madman. But this is the true state of the nation—a country ruled by a murderer drunk with power, and 100 million helpless, pitiful subjects unable to escape from a nightmare. ###

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