SONA 2017: What some senators wanted to hear

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Members of the Senate and Congress laugh as President Rodrigo Duterte cracks a joke in the middle of his second State of the Nation Address at the Batasang Pambansa on July 24, 2017. | Photo courtesy of Robinson Ninal (Presidential Photo)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — President Rodrigo Duterte gave several marching orders to lawmakers in his second state of the nation address (SONA) on Monday.

Among them were the controversial bill reviving the death penalty for heinous crimes and the comprehensive tax reform bill.

Both measures have been passed at the House of Representatives and are now pending before the Senate.

Sen. Dick Gordon said the death penalty bill would still have to pass through debates at the upper chamber.

"The President is our friend but we don't march to all his drumbeat," Gordon said.

He added he was also uncertain that the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program would pass in full at the Senate. The proposed measure had been criticized as anti-poor because it would lower personal income tax but would increase tax on petroleum, cars and sugar-sweetened products.

Related: Militant groups hold protests during Duterte’s second SONA

For Sen. Joel Villanueva, the fact that the President tackled responsible mining and increased assistance for overseas workers was a welcome development.

But he said there was no mention about accomplishments and future plans to end 'endo'.

"We believe that there is an immediate need to strengthen our labor law compliance system to ensure that companies will truly adhere with our labor laws. We have to clearly delineate 'endo' from legitimate job contracting. We are hoping that we can have our 'End Endo' bill passed before the year ends," Villanueva said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Sen. Grace Poe said the President should have made the bill on emergency powers to solve the traffic problem a priority measure.

"Kasi kung ito ay priority measure, hindi na ako mahihirapan na kumbinsihin ang aking mga kasama sa Senado na ipasa ito," Poe said.

[Translation: I won't have a hard time convincing my colleagues at the Senate to pass this measure if it were made a priority.]

For his part, minority senator Bam Aquino said he was expecting a pronouncement about free education in state universities and colleges.

"We must prioritize education and rise above politics to give more Filipinos access to a college degree," Aquino said.

CNN Philippines' Joyce Ilas contributed to this report.