Palace on Aquino skipping 3rd SONA: ‘That’s his decision’

MANILA MalacaAang on Monday said it sees no problem with the decision of former President Benigno Aquino III to skip the third State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo R. Duterte on July 23.

No. That's his decision, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a message sent to the media when sought for a comment on Aquino's choice not to show up.

Former presidents and other government officials are always invited to attend the incumbent President's SONA as part of tradition.

The Inter-Parliamentary Relations and Special Affairs Bureau (IPRSAB) of the House of Representatives (HoR) earlier disclosed that former Presidents Fidel Ramos and Joseph Ejercito-Estrada have already confirmed their attendance.

Vice President Leni Robredo will also be attending Dutete's third SONA, the IPRSAB said.

House of Representatives Secretary-General Cesar Pareja, Sergeant-At-Arms Roland Detabali and Senate Secretary Myra Villarica earlier said that the House is all set to host Duterte's SONA.

"We, the House Secretariat as well as the Senate, have been preparing and in fact are now ready for the most anticipated annual event in the Congress the SONA and opening of the third regular session," Pareja said.

Detabali said the House is more prepared this year in securing the President, his first family, other VIPs and guests from possible threats.

Roque earlier said that Duterte will read his third SONA, which will be over in 35 minutes since a series of pre-SONA forums are currently being conducted by various Cabinet clusters.

I will read my SONA speech which should not be more than 35 minutes, Roque said, quoting the President. It is shorter since we had pre-SONA led by various chairmen of the Cabinet cluster committees. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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