IN PHOTOS: President Duterte’s third SONA

President Duterte’s speech lasted for 48 minutes, a duration substantially shorter than his previous speeches.


Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — In what can only be described as political theater, President Rodrigo Duterte’s third State of the Nation Address was marred by controversy upon the images of Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo sworn in as the new House Speaker, replacing Pantaleon Alvarez.

The atypicality of the said event played out in full view and delayed the start of the president’s speech for over an hour. The confusion ensued as Congress convened with Pantaleon still sitting as House Speaker.

At 5:21 p.m., President Duterte began his speech to underscore that his administration’s drug war will not be sidelined. “It will be as relentless and chilling,” he said. He goes on to vaguely list the repercussions of drug use — dysfunctional families, ruined relationships, and tainted futures — while assuring that the opposition from human rights advocates and religious leaders will not stop him.

As he stood before political leaders and guests clad in barong, suits, and various Filipiniana ensembles, Duterte rallied to fight corruption. He discussed our improved relationships with China. He touched on giving an increase in budget to Mindanao. He guaranteed to sign the Bangsamoro Organic Law within 48 hours.

He also addressed the issue on contractualization. He applauded the swift passage of the TRAIN law, highlighting that it is needed for our country’s sustainable growth. He promoted the need to care for the Philippine’s natural resources. And he, after much anticipation, announced that Charter Change is necessary so every Filipino — regardless of social stature, ideology, or religious beliefs — be given equal opportunities to create a better future.

President Duterte’s speech lasted for 48 minutes, a duration substantially shorter than his previous speeches. He stuck to his promise that it wouldn’t be long. As to whether he will also stick to the promises he made for the recently concluded SONA, only time will tell.

Here are some of the scenes during the president's third SONA.

Photo-5.jpg Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in a barong with hablon details arrives with his wife Mylah. Photo by JL JAVIER

Photo-9.jpg Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Emmi De Jesus (third from left) wears a pina top embroidered with “Babae Ako. Lumalaban Sa Abuso.” She is joined by (from left): ACT Teachers Representative Antonio Tinio; Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Arlene Brosas — who is also wearing a pina top embroidered with “Stop TRAIN law” — ACT Teachers Representative France Castro, and Anakpawis Representative Ariel Casilao. Photo by JL JAVIER

Photo-17.jpg Guards and house members inside the VIP Plenary Hall. Photo by JL JAVIER

Photo-21.jpg Senator Manny Pacquiao takes a selfie with a foreign guest. Photo by JL JAVIER

Photo-23.jpg Men of the Philippine military around the premises of Batasang Pambansa. Photo by JL JAVIER

Photo-25.jpg Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo at the rostrum after being cheered on by her supporters in Congress. Photo by JL JAVIER

Photo-29.jpg Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is surrounded by her allies after being sworn in as the new House Speaker. Photo by JL JAVIER

Photo-35.jpg President Duterte arrives at the Plenary Hall after over an hour of delay. Photo by JL JAVIER

Photo-37.jpg The singing of the Philippine national anthem to start the SONA. Photo by JL JAVIER

Photo-43.jpg House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez remains in his seat even after the commotion that ensued earlier where CGMA was sworn in. Photo by JL JAVIER

Photo-47.jpg Special Assistant to the President Bong Go and Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alan Peter Cayetano greet House members and guests after the president’s SONA. Photo by JL JAVIER

Photo-49.jpg Senator Joel Villanueva answers questions from the press after the SONA. Photo by JL JAVIER