From the point of workers who have suffered through the failed covid response and were betrayed by the promise to end endo, there was really no high point to the 3-hour long SONA. There was nothing new he said about the most controversial and pressing issues like the drug war and the West Philippine Sea as he simply recycled his non-sequiturs. And there was deafening silence on a concrete strategy to combat covid and recession.
In the midst of a pandemic and a recession, the focus of the SONA should have been laying out an effective plan. These are also what the people are looking for in the SONA as revealed in the recent Pulse Asia survey. The people’s demands for a response on jobs, the economy, inflation, vaccine and even the West Philippine Sea are actually reflected in the labor coalition Nagkaisa’s call for TABAKK or Trabaho, Ayuda, Bakuna, Karapatan and Kasarinlan.
Duterte said that he really had no plans given the threat of the Delta variant except to impose another severe lockdown. In other words, Duterte will just be repeating the mistakes of the past year but coming from an even worse situation that last year. Walang pag-asa at inspirasyong makakatas sa huling SONA.
The alibi and excuses for the drug war was the lowest point of the SONA. Duterte spent so much time spinning his worn-out tales and anecdotes about drugs as an existential problem. As usual the numbers he mentioned about the drug war like 50,000 arrests per day and billions of drugs interdicted are fairy tales that are not backed up by evidence.
Nothing will happen in the last year of Duterte given the absence of a plan on recovering from the pandemic and the recession. In fact, in the next few months, the winds of the coming presidential elections will be blowing hard and Duterte the politician will surely be concerned about his fate after 2022—as he has admitted, he is apprehensive about being made accountable for the crimes during his regime.