Palace still mum about SONA details

Posted at 07/22/2012 6:38 PM

MANILA, Philippine -- Malacanang on Sunday remained tight-lipped on what Filipinos can expect to hear when President Benigno Aquino III delivers his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.

"The President instructed us muna na huwag na munang i-release any details, information on the SONA," Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in an interview on Radyo ng Bayon.

"But basically what I've said yesterday and previously, it's a look backwards and a look forward. The President is going to lay out what he has accomplished during the past year and may looking forward din po ang kanyang SONA," he said.

Lacierda, however, did say that for a second year, the President's SONA will be delivered in Filipino and that there will be "visual aids" to accompany the speech.

"Ang kanyang talumpati ay ide-deliver po sa Filipino kaya nga ang ginawa natin ...si Usec. Manolo Quezon po ang gagawing translator. May translation booth po tayo na itinayo doon sa Batasang Pambansa tapos bibigyan po natin ng translation aid po ang mga diplomats para masundan po nila 'yung talumpati ni Pangulong Aquino," Lacierda said.

Unlike last year, Lacierda said Aquino will not be meeting the members of his Cabinet before the SONA.

"Last year po nagpulong po ang Pangulo dahil po doon sa budget message po. E mukhang ayos na po 'yung budget message po. Naibigay na po ni Secretary Butch Abad noon pa, pinag-aralan na po," he explained.

"A day after (the SONA) hopefully, sabi ni Secretary Butch Abad, isa-submit po 'yung budget message po sa Kongreso. Normally pong ginagawa natin 'yon -- parati po si Pangulong Aquino e maaga pong ibinibigay po ang budget message po sa Batasang Pambansa," he added.

The President will also not have a run-through of the SONA before the Cabinet.

"Walang ensayo si Pangulo. Siguro at this time, si Pangulo sanay (na). Sa isang linggo ang dami niyang binibigay na talumpati. Hasang-hasa na po si Pangulong Aquino sa pagbibigay ng talumpati. Ang medyo kaibahan lang po nito ang SONA ay mas mahaba sa pangkaraniwang talumpati. But hindi po naiiba sa kanya ang pagbibigay ng isang talumpati. So hindi po siya nag-ensayo sa harapan ng gabinete," he said.

The President's speech has, so far, undergone at least seven revisions, according to Lacierda.

"Tinapos po ni Pangulong Aquino 'yung SONA po kahapon kasama ng kanyang mga speechwriters. So maayos po 'yung final draft po," he said.

"Handa na po siya for 'yung SONA po sa Monday. Tapos na po ang SONA niya, so ready na po sa Monday. He's good to go," he said.