- President Rodrigo Duterte delivered his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday afternoon, which has been well-received by many
- Duterte's SONA was also the first to meet with activists after delivering the address
- Secretary General Renato Reyes of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan shared tidbits of his meeting with the president
The State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte was an afternoon of firsts: not only is it his first address, it also included meeting with militant leaders after the event.
The meeting, also held at the House of Representatives, lasted for an hour and a half. It started at seven in the evening and lasted until 8:30 p.m.
One of the militant leaders Duterte met was Renato Reyes Jr., who is currently the secretary general of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan. Reyes shared what happened prior to their meeting, along with photos as proof on his Facebook account.
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"Nakatambay kami sa may truck habang naglilipit ng gamit. Biglang sinama kami ng pulis. Di namin alam san pupunta. Kaya sinama ko si Beng. Hayun, dito pala kami dadalhin," was the caption of his album.
(We were seated at the island along Batasan Road, resting while waiting for the pack up of the stage when we were approached by the PNP who asked us to go with them. The PNP did not say where and why.)
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He did not expect the turn of events as he was ushered to a room where President Duterte was waiting. It has been reported that the president had plans to meet with the activists outside the Batasang Pambansa after he delivered his address.
The topics both parties discussed were about peace and social services in war-stricken areas. Duterte wanted to know from these leaders how he could allocate more resources to social services as soon as the problems with these war-stricken areas have been resolved. The President also prioritized the Lumads, who he also wanted to return to their original territory safely.
Reyes appreciated the president's gesture, even stating that there were a lot of firsts indeed for Duterte's first SONA.
Protesters this year had a completely different experience compared to the previous years, now that they were allowed to rally near the Batasang Pambansa. Prior to Duterte's administration, they were only allowed to do so along Commonwealth Avenue.
Police noted that protesters held a peaceful rally instead of yesteryears' frenzy that usually led to a bloodbath.
However, it is not the first time Duterte met with militant leaders after a major event. He also met with some right after his inauguration last June 30, Thursday.-Kami Media