- Some political analysts criticized the first SONA of President Duterte
- They called the 100-minute speech as out of focus, unclear, complicated and a failure in uniting the people and explaining his vision for the country
- However, some analysts commended the speech for its sense of humor and for showing that Duterte cannot be contained and packaged
According to political analysts, President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA) delivered on Monday, July 25, was a disappointment due to its lack of clarity and focus.
Antonio La Viña, the former dean of the Ateneo School of Government, said that Duterte’s speech failed to unite the country and clarify his vision for the nation.
He added that the three main highlights of the president’s speech – his aggressive campaign against the illegal drug trade, the need for federalism, and his promise of peace throughout the country – were lost in Duterte’s long and winding speech which made it difficult to follow his points.
"The speech just went on in various directions… [It's] a lost opportunity because speeches like these are a moment to unify the country, make clear the vision of governance," La Viña told Rappler.
Marites Vitug, the editor-at-large of Rappler, said that the speech should have been changed in order to fit the President’s style of speaking.
Political psychologist Cristina Montiel commented on the ad-libbing nature of the speech, saying that Duterte’s SONA succeeded in showing that he cannot be packaged and contained and that he knew how to connect with the masses by speaking their language.
However, Montiel criticized Duterte for making the speech more complicated than what was necessary, making it hard for people to figure out his main points. She also slammed Duterte’s use of war images when talking about his promise to be aggressive in waging war against illegal drugs.
"Where is he taking us 6 years from today? It's not only drugs, drugs, drugs. I'm looking for the big picture, the long view," Vitug pointed out.
On the other hand, supporters of Duterte’s speech praised the SONA, particularly the President’s sense of humor, his obvious love for the country and his passion in keeping peace and order in the Philippines.