hrough constant coughing which may indicate the barren sincerity in what he utters, former President Benigno Aquino recounted his administration’s five-year journey through the “Daang Matuwid” (straight path) which was his mantra that amounted to nothing except for the vindictive moves against his political opponents in his last State of the Nation Address (SoNA) in 2015.
He then said “you ain’t seen nothing yet” in his address which was more of an admission rather than a vow. It was what could be the only factual statement in all SoNA in the six years that he was in office as people were then asking him to show his achievements aside from putting his fiercest political rivals behind bars.
SoNA are occasions to build dreams with the hope from the public who listens of accomplishments later on. The past addresses of Presidents reveal their characters and their determination to clean governance.
During the term of Fidel V. Ramos, the SoNA revolved around the security of the nation and his most notable line in a 1992 address was were “Our goal must be to attain a just, comprehensive, peaceful, and lasting resolution of the internal armed conflict that has cost the nation and our people so dearly.”
In 1993, he noted “the roots of Philippine rebellion lie deeply buried in the poverty, inequality, and injustice of our social system; in the inefficiency, corruption, indifference and arrogance of those in power.”
In 1996, he prophetically stated “In the not-too-distant future, China will once again become a great power — and it is unrealistic for anyone to think that outsiders can prevent this from taking place.”
His successor Joseph Estrada said in 1999, “Let me start with a sincere apology to all those who expected or wished to see me fail. I am sorry to disappoint them.” He was deposed in 2001.
Strong republic era
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who had the benefit of nine SoNA, the most for post-EDSA presidents, said “I am determined to build a strong republic by breaking the back of terrorism and criminality.”
She added “Those who have less in life should not have to scramble for crumbs at the feet of those with too much on the table.” Mrs. Arroyo was credited with providing the building blocks for the economy’s progress being felt today.
The most notable lines from Aquino reveal his preoccupation with political revenge. In his 2011 SoNA he said “If we ignore the crimes of the past, they will continue to haunt us,” and again in 2014 he quipped “We are proving that, with righteousness and with solidarity, we can clean up an institution that has, for the longest time, been besmirched by corruption.”
DU30 lets change in
A complete reversal from his predecessor, President Rodrigo Duterte who won the presidency via landslide said in his first SoNA that “I will not waste precious time dwelling on the sins of the past or blaming those who are perceived to be responsible for the mess that we are in and suffering from.”
From that statement, he started his own unique pursuit of eradicating crime and ending the drugs trade that became the basis of his efforts to put the country on a momentum for progress.
Like Manny Pacquiao defying age, Rody proved that his honeymoon with Filipinos grows sweeter with time.
Rody is in the final half of his term and his star shines ever brighter.